Office-based wire-guided open breast biopsy under local anesthesia is accurate and cost effective

Katherine T. Morris, Rodney F. Pommier, John T. Vetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Mammographic abnormalities found to be malignant by stereotactic biopsy still require a wire-guided biopsy (WGB) in most cases. We have previously described a simplified method of WGB that allows the procedure to be done with a minimum of dissection and under local anesthesia in the office setting. We hypothesized that this procedure can be used to produce cost-effective, office-based breast preservation therapy (BPT). Methods: We reviewed our recent experience with this WGB method to determine applicability and accuracy in the office setting. A cost-effectiveness analysis was also performed to determine potential charge reductions when this method is used to avoid operating room (OR) usage for either lumpectomy or lumpectomy plus sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). Results: Of the 164 biopsies reviewed, 114 (70%) were performed in the office setting under local anesthesia and 50 (30%) were performed in the OR. The most common reasons for choosing the OR setting included performance of biopsy during an unrelated procedure requiring the OR (16 cases), patient preference (12), deep lesions (6), and the inability of the patient to cooperate with local anesthesia (5). The complication rates were similar between the two settings (7% for office-based and 4% for OR; P = 0.697), and in neither setting were any lesions missed. A cost-effectiveness analysis using our Current Procedure Terminology (CPT)-based charges revealed a potential per-case charge reduction of $4,632 for office-based lumpectomy and $4306 for office-based lumpectomy/SLNB, using our method of WGB and local anesthesia, compared with the OR setting. Conclusions: Office-based WGB using our previously described method is accurate and can be applied to at least 70% of patients. Based on the favorable results of our cost analysis and rising support for SLNB, we anticipate increased utilization of the clinic setting and local anesthesia for BPT in the future. (C) 2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-425
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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