Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 73(3): 492-497, 1984.

The meaning of surgical margins.

Abide JM, Nahai F, Bennett RG


In an effort to define the pathological term surgical margins, 11 pathologists were interviewed regarding the meaning of the term margins. In addition, 25 plastic surgeons were queried regarding their decisions based on pathology reports of margins. We found nonuniformity of processing specimens and ambiguity in the use of the term close when describing specimen margins. Among the plastic surgeons there was also variability of opinion regarding handling of patients with pathology reports with close or involved margins and a lack of appreciation of the differences and the meanings of various methods of processing tissue.

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Dr. G. Quade