Intraoperative Ultrasonographically Guided Excisional Biopsy or Vacuum-Assisted Core Needle Biopsy for Nonpalpable Breast Lesions

Shin Cheh Chen*, Horng Ren Yang, Tsann Long Hwang, Miin Fu Chen, Yun Chung Cheung, Swei Hsueh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

56 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare duration and rates of underestimation and complete excision for nonpalpable breast lesions using either intraoperative ultrasonographically guided excisioned biopsy (IUGE) or directional vacuum-assisted biopsy (DVAB). Summary Background Data: Percutaneous ultrasonography-guided core needle biopsy is preferable to stereotactic biopsy for treatment of nonpalpable breast lesions; however, underestimation and false-negative results can occur., and rebiopsy may be required. To date, however, there has been no comparison of these two procedures in terms of diagnostic accuracy and duration. Methods: For 4 consecutive years, IUGE was performed for 104 nonpalpable breast lesions and DVAB for 128 lesions at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Of the DVAB cases, the handheld mammotome was used for 53 procedures, with all lesions removed as completely as possible. The duration of the two procedures was calculated from initial skin incision until completion of wound closure. Most of the patients with benign pathology underwent ultrasonographic examination at 3 months after surgery, with a follow-up examination at 1 year. Surgery was performed subsequently for all of the malignancy cases. Results: The average ages and mean tumor sizes for patients undergoing IUGE or DVAB were 46 and 47 years and 1.1 and 1.0 cm, respectively. The average IUGE and DVAB surgery durations for 88 benign tumors and 117 benign lesions were 44.3 and 21.5 minutes, respectively (P < 0.001), and 43.5 and 20.6 minutes for the malignant tumors (n = 16 and n = 11), respectively (P = 0.036). The IUGE and DVAB surgery durations for tumors <1 cm in diameter were 43.5 and 20.6 minutes, respectively, and 44.2 and 23.6 minutes for tumors over that size (P < 0.001). An older-model mammotome was used for 75 patients, with an average duration of 24 minutes in comparison to 18 minutes for the handheld variant (P < 0.001). No false-negative results were noted and, except in the case of the malignant tumors, there was no need for reexcisional biopsy. Further, there were no underestimates of the disease for the 4 cases of atypical ductal hyperplasia and the 12 of noninvasive carcinoma. No further ultrasonographic evidence of tumors was noted for 95% of the benign pathologies, with no residual abnormality detected for 13 of the 27 malignant tumors after IUGE or DVAB. Conclusions: For treatment of nonpalpable breast lesions, both IUGE and DVAB eliminate false-negative results, underestimates, and the requirement for reexcisional biopsies. In comparison to IUGE, DVAB is more convenient and time efficient for excisional biopsy of nonpalpable breast lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-742
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 11 2003


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