Hong Kong Med J 2004;10:117-22 | Number 2, April 2004
Management of extremity soft tissue sarcoma after unplanned incomplete resection: experience of a regional musculoskeletal tumour centre
CK Wong, YL Lam, YC So, KC Ngan, KY Wong
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 30 Gascoigne Road, Hong Kong
This study reviews the presentation and management of extremity soft tissue sarcoma after unplanned incomplete resection in a musculoskeletal tumour centre in Hong Kong. Medical records of 18 patients who were referred to our centre for further management from January 1995 to May 2001 after inadequate tumour excision were reviewed. Fourteen patients had been referred from private clinics and four from public hospitals. At initial presentation, 10 patients had lesions exceeding 5 cm, nine had a tumour deep in the subfascial plane, and eight had tumours that had recently increased in size. Sixteen had no preoperative radiological assessment or biopsy performed before excision. All except two patients needed additional skin and muscle reconstruction in a subsequent re-resection, and 12 required postoperative radiotherapy. Two patients subsequently developed distant metastases, and one patient died of an unrelated cause. No amputations were required, and no major complications arose from second surgery. Physicians' alertness towards the possible malignancy of soft tissue masses in extremities is important to avoid a potentially mutilating second resection. Well-planned re-resection in a specialised tumour centre can achieve satisfactory local control of disease.
Key words: Neoplasm, residual; Sarcoma
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