Awareness of residents’ technical ability can affect margin status in breast conserving operations

Joel VanderVelde, Jarvis W. Walters, Chiu Hsieh Hsu, Elizabeth M.N. Ferguson, Jennifer Lee, Daniel M. Caruso, Ian K. Komenaka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The current study was performed to determine if awareness of the potential affect of residents could affect margin status. Methods: Retrospective review of all patients who underwent lumpectomy from July 2006 to May 2017 was evaluated. The effect of surgical residents’ participation and their technical ability was evaluated to determine the effect on margin status. Logistic regression analysis was performed to determined factors which affect margin status. Results: Of 444 patients, 14% of patients had positive margins. The positive margin rate was lower during the second time period after the effect of technical ability of the residents was known 12% versus 19% (p = 0.10). Greater participation by the attending surgeon (32% vs. 21%) occurred in the second time period. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, operations done by residents with satisfactory technical skills or attending surgeon were less likely to have positive margins than those done by residents with unsatisfactory technical skills (OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.10–0.38; p = 0.0001). With mean follow-up of 48 months, 1.4% had local recurrences as a first event. Conclusions: Technically ability of residents appears to affect margin status after lumpectomy. Increased intervention by the attending surgeon can improve this outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Breast conservation
  • Lumpectomy
  • Margin
  • Teaching
  • Technical ability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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