by EBSCO Medical Review Board
(Mass Removal; Removal of Soft Tissue Mass)


Excision of mass is surgery to remove a soft tissue growth from the body.

Reasons for Procedure

This surgery is done to remove:

  • An abnormal growth
  • A growth that is causing problems, such as nerve pain

The mass may be tested after surgery to find out more about it.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Excess bleeding
  • Problems from anesthesia, such as wheezing or sore throat
  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Damage to structures around the mass

Things that may raise the risk of problems are:

  • Smoking
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes or obesity

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:

  • Anesthesia options
  • Any allergies you may have
  • Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before surgery
  • Fasting before surgery, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
  • Whether you need a ride to and from surgery
  • Specialists you may need to see
  • Tests that will need to be done before surgery


The doctor may give:

Description of the Procedure

  • An incision will be made. The mass will be removed. Some surrounding tissue may also be removed. The incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage. The mass will be sent to a lab for testing.

How Long Will It Take?

It will take 30 minutes or longer. It depends on the mass that is being removed.

Will It Hurt?

Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care can help.

Average Hospital Stay

Most people can go home the same day. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.

Post-procedure Care

At the Hospital

Right after the procedure, the staff may give you pain medicines.

During your stay, staff will take steps to lower your chance of infection, such as:

  • Washing their hands
  • Wearing gloves or masks
  • Keeping your incisions covered

You can also lower your chance of infection by:

  • Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and staff to do the same
  • Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
  • Not letting others touch your incisions

At Home

It will take about 2 weeks for the incision to heal and swelling to go down. Physical activity may be limited during this time. It depends on where the mass was located.

Call Your Doctor

Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, more pain, a lot of bleeding, or any discharge
  • Pain that you cannot control with medicine

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.


Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians 

OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 


Health Canada 


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Lipoma. OrthoInfo—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: Updated August 2018. Accessed May 21, 2020.

Moreno-Ramírez D, Ruiz-Villaverde R, et al. A. process of care for patients with benign cysts and tumors: Consensus document of the Andalusian Regional Section of the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV). Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2016 Jun;107(5):391-399.

Soft tissue masses. UW Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine website. Available at: Accessed May 21, 2020.

Revision Information