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GIORNALE ITALIANO DI DERMATOLOGIA E VENEREOLOGIA

A Journal on Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
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Giornale Italiano di Dermatologia e Venereologia 2011 April;146(2):79-83

language: English

Surgical margin marking for high-risk basal cell carcinomas of the cephalic region: a single-centre experience

Cecchi R. 1, Bartoli L. 1, Brunetti L. 1, Pavesi M. 1, Rapicano V. 2

1 Department of Dermatology, Hospital of Pistoia, Pistoia, Italy;
2 Department of Pathology, Hospital of Pistoia, Pistoia, Italy


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AIM: Mohs micrographic surgery is the treatment of choice for basal cell carcinomas (BCCs) at high risk for local recurrence. This procedure is scarcely employed in Italy, even when it appears necessary, for different causes, including high costs, organization problems, or low professional experience with the technique. Aim of this study is to report our experience with the “surgical margin marking”, as alternative to standard Mohs micrographic surgery in the management of high-risk BCCs of the head and neck region.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis on 102 (64 males and 38 females; mean age: 66.8 years; median: 68 years; range: 53-87 years) of 208 patients with high-risk basal cell carcinomas of the head and neck region, submitted to surgical margin marking has been made. All cases had completed a 3-year follow-up. Primary tumours were 52 (51%), recurrent tumours were 50 (49%).
RESULTS: The mean number of micrographic surgery stages for a complete tumour clearance was 1.65 (range: 1-4 stages). In 47% (N.=49) of cases the tumours were removed by a single stage, while in 42.1% (N.=43) of patients two stages were required. Only 2 patients (2%) showed recurrences during a mean follow-up of 61.2 months (median: 62 months; range: 37-84 months).
CONCLUSION: Our experience supports the effectiveness of the surgical margin marking technique in the treatment of high-risk basal cell carcinomas of the cephalic region. It may represent an alternative approach to Mohs micrographic surgery in dermatologic departments of many hospitals, where standard Mohs micrographic surgery is more difficult to perform.

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r.cecchi@usl3.toscana.it