Breast Cancer: Frozen Section Analysis During Lumpectomy Decreases Need For Reoperation

Dr. Judy C. Boughey MD Professor of Surgery Mayo Clinic, Rochester Interview with
Dr. Judy C. Boughey MD
Professor of Surgery
Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN What are the main findings of the study?  

Dr. Boughey: This study showed that the rate of reoperation after lumpectomy for breast cancer was significantly lower at Mayo Clinic in Rochester compared to national data. Mayo Clinic in Rochester uses frozen section analysis of margins at time of lumpectomy to direct any margin re-excisions during the surgery and therefore has a significantly lower rate of need for a second operation to ensure clean margins. The rate of reoperation was four times higher in the national data set than in the Mayo Clinic data set. Were any of the findings unexpected? 

Dr. Boughey: Not really. Reoperation rates after lumpectomy for breast cancer range around 15-40 percent across the country. Use of frozen section of margins at Mayo Clinic has been used for over 100 years and results in a reoperation for positive margin rate of around 3 percent. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? 

Dr. Boughey: For patients the advantage of intraoperative analysis of lumpectomy margins is that it significantly decreases the likelihood of requiring a second operation, which is a huge advantage for patients in terms of cost, travel, pain and recovery. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Boughey: We plan further studies looking at the impact of frozen section analysis intraoperatively on other diseases.

Citation: from Journal Surgery