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Article
January 1939

SURGICAL IMPORTANCE OF MAMMARY AND SUBCUTANEOUS FAT NECROSIS

Author Affiliations

BOSTON
From the Surgical and Pathologic Services of the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1939;38(1):1-15. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1939.01200070004001
Abstract

A thorough knowledge of the pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of fat necrosis is of considerable surgical importance because all too frequently the similarity of this condition to cancer has led to ill advised surgical intervention or irradiation therapy. This is particularly true of fat necrosis in the breast, despite the accurate description of this condition as a clinical entity over a decade ago.1 However, fat necrosis may prove to be equally baffling or even more so when it occurs in a mastectomy scar, in a lipoma, in a hernial sac or deep in the subcutaneous tissues of the thigh or the buttock. It is the purpose of the present paper to call attention once again to the inherent difficulties in recognizing this condition and to emphasize its importance in the differential diagnosis of malignant lesions in the breast or of the superficial tissues.

One of the earliest descriptions of

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