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General Mass Excision

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 4, 2023.

What do I need to know about a general mass excision?

Excision is surgery to remove a mass, such as a tumor. Excision may be done for a diagnosis or for treatment. Removal may be the only treatment needed, or may be part of your treatment plan.

How do I prepare for surgery?

  • Your surgeon will tell you how to prepare. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day before surgery. Arrange to have someone drive you home after you are discharged.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine for surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all your allergies, including to anesthesia or antibiotics.
  • You may need an ultrasound, CT, or MRI. These or other tests can help your surgeon learn more about the mass. This will help him or her plan your surgery more easily.

What will happen during surgery?

  • Depending on the kind of surgery you have, you may need general, local, or regional anesthesia. General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Local anesthesia numbs the surgery area. Regional anesthesia numbs an area of your body. With local or regional anesthesia, you may feel some pressure, but you should not feel pain.
  • Your surgeon may make an incision in the skin over the mass. He or she may instead make several small incisions. Surgery is done with tools put into the small incisions. Your surgeon will remove the mass with a knife, laser, or other tool. He or she may need to remove some tissue around the mass. This is done to make sure all of the mass is removed. Some or all of the mass may be sent to a lab to be tested for cancer or other problems.
  • The surgery area may be closed with stitches, staples, or medical tape. This depends on where the mass was and how large an area was removed. Your surgeon may also need to repair tissue near the mass after it is removed. This may help improve the appearance or function of the surgery area. The area may be covered with a bandage to keep it clean and to prevent an infection.

What should I expect after surgery?

  • You may have some bleeding or bruising in the surgery area. This is expected and should get better in a few days.
  • You may be given medicine to prevent or treat pain or an infection.
  • You may need to meet with a healthcare provider to get diagnosis results. Your provider may want to make a treatment plan based on the results.

What are the risks of a general mass excision?

You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. Nerves or tissues may be damaged. It may not be possible to remove all of the mass. If the mass is cancer, some of the cells left in your body may grow or spread. The mass may come back after surgery. You may develop a life-threatening blood clot. You may have permanent scars in the surgery area.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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