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Adequacy of surgical margins, re-excision, and evaluation of factors associated with recurrence: a retrospective study of 769 basal cell carcinomas

An Bras Dermatol. 2023 Mar 16:S0365-0596(23)00055-7. doi: 10.1016/j.abd.2022.07.005. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Achieving adequate surgical margins and preventing recurrence are important in the treatment of basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the adequacy of surgical margins and the re-excision rates in patients with primary BCC who underwent standard surgical treatment using our proposed algorithm and to define the risk factors in patients with recurrent BCC.

METHODS: The medical records of patients who were histopathologically diagnosed with BCC were reviewed. An algorithm created based on previous literature was used to determine the distribution of optimal surgical margins adequacy and re-excision rates.

RESULTS: Statistically significant differences were observed between the cases with and without recurrence in age at diagnosis (p=0.004), tumor size (p=0.023), tumor location in the H zone of the face (p=0.005), and aggressive histopathological subtype (p=0.000). When the tumors were evaluated for adequacy of deep and lateral surgical margins and re-excision rates, higher rates of adequate excision (457 cases, 68.0%) and re-excision (43 cases, 33.9%) were noted for tumors in the H or M zone.

STUDY LIMITATIONS: Inadequate follow-up of newly diagnosed patients in terms of recurrence and metastasis and the retrospective application of our proposed algorithm are the limitations of the present study.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed that if BCC was detected at an early age and at an early stage, recurrence was lower. The H and M zones were the regions with the highest rates of optimal surgical outcomes.

PMID:36934062 | DOI:10.1016/j.abd.2022.07.005

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