The happy cohabitation of surgery with basic science has experienced another productive year. Basic science research is not easily translated into clinical usefulness. The downsizing of federal funding and the increasing participation of the biomedical-industrial complex has affected surgical research. New diagnostic modalities in the panoperative setting have seen increasing application within the last year that affects the volume, type, and extent of future operations.
The widespread application of screening mammography has led to an increase (up to sixfold) in the number of open breast biopsies performed for mammographic abnormalities. Most such radiologic findings correspond to benign processes, but the cost to prove benignancy is substantial. Stereotactic automated core breast biopsy is a method of precisely directed tissue sampling that can be performed with the patient under local anesthesia. Comparison of tissue diagnosis using this technique followed by open biopsy in a study of 98 lesions showed a high correlation.
Hirvela ER, Organ CH. General Surgery. JAMA. 1994;271(21):1674-1675. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510450046025