Benign Soft Tissue Tumors

Benign soft tissue tumors are fairly common and GDO surgeons evaluate hundreds of soft tissue tumors annually. Patients are referred to the clinic with a mass or lump. Often, a clinical diagnosis can be made and no intervention is required. GDO surgeons evaluate thousands of masses annually and are the best-equipped team in the region to render an accurate diagnosis.

Often, imaging is required such as ultrasound or MRI. Excision of the mass and/or biopsy may be required. Needle biopsy and minimally invasive surgery are often all that is required. Rarely, a benign mass may recur after excision. Common benign soft tissue tumors include lipoma, nerve sheath tumors, hemangioma, fibromatosis, giant cell tumor of tendon sheath/PVNS, ganglion cysts, sebaceous cysts, and hematomas.


A physical exam by an experienced tumor surgeon is required. In addition, imaging may be necessary to diagnose a benign soft tissue tumor. X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI are the tests ordered most frequently.


Observation may be the only required treatment. If the benign soft tissue tumor is painful, or otherwise bothersome it can be removed, usually in the outpatient setting.


A biopsy may be necessary to confirm the presumed diagnosis. This usually done in the setting of a minor outpatient surgery. Tissue may be sent as a frozen section so that the preliminary diagnosis is known the same day. Biopsy of musculoskeletal tumors should be performed by specialists who do this procedure regularly, as an inappropriate biopsy can lead to significant preventable morbidity or severe complications.