, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 1642-1649
Date: 19 Mar 2009

Desmoid Tumors of the Anterior Abdominal Wall: Results from a Monocentric Surgical Experience and Review of the Literature

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Desmoid tumor, also known as aggressive fibromatosis, is a rare soft tissue tumor. For those cases localized in the anterior abdominal wall, radical resection and reconstruction with a mesh is indicated. Because the rarity of the disease, randomized trials are lacking, but in reported retrospective series, it is clear that although it is considered a benign lesion, local recurrence is not uncommon.


We analyzed the records of 14 consecutive patients (3 men, 11 women, mean age 36 years, range 25–51 years) with desmoid tumor of the anterior abdominal wall treated at the European Institute of Oncology. The surgical strategy was the same in all cases: wide surgical excision and immediate plastic reconstruction with mesh after intraoperative confirmation by frozen sections of disease-free margins of >1 cm. We considered long-term outcomes by using the European Organization for the Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 as an instrument to evaluate the overall quality of the treatment delivered to these patients.


No immediate postoperative complication was registered, and no patient developed recurrence after a median follow-up period of 55 months. Two women experienced mesh bulging within 1 year after the operation. The long-term mean global health status registered was 97 out of 100.


Radical resection aided by intraoperative margin evaluation via frozen sections followed by immediate mesh reconstruction is a safe procedure and can provide definitive cure without functional limitations for patients with desmoid tumors of the anterior abdominal wall.