Is routine histological examination of mastectomy scars justified? An analysis of 619 scars JOURNAL OF PLASTIC RECONSTRUCTIVE AND AESTHETIC SURGERY Momeni, A., Tran, P., Dunlap, J., Lee, G. K. 2013; 66 (2): 182-186


The increasing incidence of breast cancer is paralleled by an increasing demand for post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. At the time of breast reconstruction routine submission of mastectomy scars has been considered appropriate clinical practice to ensure that no residual cancer exists. However, this practice has been challenged by some and has become the topic of controversy. In a retrospective analysis we wished to assess whether routine submission of mastectomy scars altered treatment.Utilizing the Stanford Translational Research Integrated Database Environment (STRIDE) all patients who underwent implant-based breast reconstruction with routine histological analysis of mastectomy scars were identified. The following parameters were retrieved and analyzed: age, cancer histology, cancer stage (according to the American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system), receptor status (estrogen receptor [ER], progesterone receptor [PR], Her2neu), time interval between mastectomy and reconstruction, and scar histology.A total of 442 patients with a mean age of 45.9 years (range, 22-73 years) were included in the study. Mastectomy with subsequent reconstruction was performed for in-situ disease and invasive cancer in 83 and 359 patients, respectively. A total of 619 clinically unremarkable mastectomy scars were sent for histological analysis, with the most common finding being unremarkable scar tissue (i.e. collagen fibers). Of note, no specimen revealed the presence of carcinoma.According to published reports routine histological examination of mastectomy scars may detect early local recurrence. However, we were not able to detect this benefit in our patient population. As such, particularly in the current health-care climate the cost-effectiveness of this practice deserves further attention. A more selective use of histological analysis of mastectomy scars in patients with tumors that display poor prognostic indicators may be a more reasonable utilization of resources.

View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bjps.2012.09.013

View details for Web of Science ID 000313620600012

View details for PubMedID 23044349

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3545080