The Importance of Negative Margins

A lumpectomy is a challenging surgical procedure, complicated by two obvious yet conflicting priorities: excise as much tissue as necessary to remove the cancer from the breast, remove as little tissue as possible to achieve the best cosmetic result.


Clinically stated, the objective is a clean, negative margin, with all six surfaces of an excised tumor cancer-free. MarginProbe makes possible lumpectomy margin assessment while in the operating room.

However, determining if the margins are clean requires the work of a pathologist reviewing tissue long past the conclusion of the surgical procedure. Intraoperative margin assessment consists primarily of visual inspection, palpation, and specimen imaging techniques which surgeons agree are less than reliable.

The MarginProbe System is designed to give today’s surgeons a significant new advantage in margin assessment. In a procedure of roughly five minutes, MarginProbe provides real time, detailed information to help a surgeon decide whether additional tissue should be taken, or whether to complete the lumpectomy procedure, and close the incision. Surgeons can perform the intraoperative assessments themselves, using the advanced technologies of the MarginProbe System. It’s a novel tool that gives surgeons an excellent chance of making a correct margin assessment before the tissue is examined by a pathologist.

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