This paper presents a numerical method for interactive (real-time) simulations, which considerably improves the accuracy of the response of heterogeneous soft-tissue models undergoing contact, cutting and other topological changes. We provide an integrated methodology able to deal both with the ill-conditioning issues associated with material heterogeneities, contact boundary conditions which are one of the main sources of inaccuracies, and cutting which is one of the most challenging issues in interactive simulations. Our approach is based on an implicit time integration of a non-linear finite element model. To enable real-time computations, we propose a new preconditioning technique, based on an asynchronous update at low frequency. The preconditioner is not only used to improve the computation of the deformation of the tissues, but also to simulate the contact response of homogeneous and heterogeneous bodies with the same accuracy. We also address the problem of cutting the heterogeneous structures and propose a method to update the preconditioner according to the topological modifications. Finally, we apply our approach to three challenging demonstrators: (i) a simulation of cataract surgery (ii) a simulation of laparoscopic hepatectomy (iii) a brain tumor surgery.