What is an amputation?
For sarcomas located in the extremities, sometimes the limb cannot be spared, and a surgeon will have to remove all or part of the leg or arm. This procedure is known as amputation. After surgery, the patient is fitted for an artificial prosthesis, and will work with our oncology rehabilitation team to adjust to life after leaving the hospital.
Amputation for soft tissue sarcoma
Amputation used to be the primary treatment for sarcomas in the extremities, but advances in surgical techniques, and the use of neoadjuvant radiation therapy and chemotherapy, have provided new treatment options. Currently, amputation is usually reserved for sarcoma cases where essential nerves, arteries or/and muscles have been affected by the tumor, and so the extremity must then be amputated.
In some cases, although a tumor can be safely removed without amputating the extremity, surgery may still leave the patient with very limited function. Therefore, amputation may still be beneficial, since recent advances in prosthetic limbs can provide sarcoma patients with more mobility than leaving a severely impaired extremity in place.