Gastric wedge biopsy
The role of a general surgeon includes the removal of suspicious masses throughout the body. Patients may have had a radiographic study for other reasons such as after a trauma. If a mass is seen, it needs appropriate testing. This may include other radiographic studies, an upper endoscopy, lower endoscopy, or a needle directed biopsy. Despite testing, sometimes masses remain concerning by radiographic means without the ability to get an adequate tissue sample. If the mass is felt to have a high likelihood of being malignant, it is often removed as if it were a cancer. In other cases, the mass has been proven to be cancerous and deemed small enough to excise without undue risk to the patient. Prior to any surgical procedure patients should discuss their treatment options with an oncologist and a surgeon to decide on the appropriate treatment.
Masses of the stomach remain a challenging surgical problem. The first step in determining the treatment of a mass is a history and physical. Of particular concern in the history is the type of risk factors involved with the mass in question. The typical stomach cancer is associated with a well-known set of risk factors.