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International Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume 2013, Article ID 793819, 9 pages
Review Article

Preoperative Localization and Surgical Margins in Conservative Breast Surgery

Surgery Division, Department of Clinical Sciences, L. Sacco Hospital, University of Milan, Via G.B. Grassi 74, 20157 Milan, Italy

Received 14 September 2012; Revised 6 June 2013; Accepted 10 July 2013

Academic Editor: A. K. Dcruz

Copyright © 2013 F. Corsi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Breast-conserving surgery (BCS) is the treatment of choice for early breast cancer. The adequacy of surgical margins (SM) is a crucial issue for adjusting the volume of excision and for avoiding local recurrences, although the precise definition of an adequate margins width remains controversial. Moreover, other factors such as the biological behaviour of the tumor and subsequent proper systemic therapies may influence the local recurrence rate (LRR). However, a successful BCS requires preoperative localization techniques or margin assessment techniques. Carbon marking, wire-guided, biopsy clips, radio-guided, ultrasound-guided, frozen section analysis, imprint cytology, and cavity shave margins are commonly used, but from the literature review, no single technique proved to be better among the various ones. Thus, an association of two or more methods could result in a decrease in rates of involved margins. Each institute should adopt its most congenial techniques, based on the senologic equipe experience, skills, and technologies.