This paper investigates the use of inverse finite-element modeling (IFEM)-based methods for tissue parameter identification using a rolling indentation probe for surgical palpation. An IFEM-based algorithm is proposed for tissue parameter identification through uniaxial indentation. IFEM-based algorithms are also created for locating and identifying the properties of an embedded tumor through rolling indentation of the soft tissue. Two types of parameter identification for the tissue tumor are investigated (1) identifying the stiffness (μ) of a tumor at a known depth and (2) estimating the depth of the tumor (D) with known mechanical properties. The efficiency of proposed methods has been evaluated through silicone and porcine kidney experiments for both uniaxial indentation and rolling indentation. The results show that both of the proposed IFEM methods for uniaxial indentation and rolling indentation have good robustness and can rapidly converge to the correct results. The tissue properties estimated using the developed method are generic and in good agreement with results obtained from standard material tests. The estimation error of μ through uniaxial indentation is below 3 % for both silicone and kidney; the estimation error of μ for the tumor through rolling indentation is 7-9 %. The estimation error of D through rolling indentation is 1-2 mm.