Analysis of the use of specimen mammography in breast conservation therapy

Am J Surg. 2004 Oct;188(4):433-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2004.06.030.


Background: Obtaining tumor-negative margins when performing breast-conserving surgery is the standard of care to prevent local recurrence. We believe two-view specimen mammography is a useful method for intraoperative determination of adequacy of excision.

Methods: A retrospective review was performed on patients who underwent wire-localized partial mastectomy for invasive cancer in our Breast Center from 2000 to 2001. Two-view specimen mammography reports were compared to the pathologic evaluation.

Results: Eighty-eight of 93 patients (95%) had complete primary excision. Sixteen patients had additional margins excised at the time of the initial operation based on specimen mammogram. Six patients would have had positive margins had additional excision at the primary surgery not been performed.

Conclusions: Specimen mammography can help reduce reoperation rate by identifying patients who need additional margin excision at the time of initial surgery for breast conservation therapy. Using two-view specimen mammography, our reoperation rate was reduced from 12% to 5%.

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Care
  • Mammography*
  • Mastectomy, Segmental*
  • Retrospective Studies