Whither surgical quality assurance of breast cancer surgery (surgical margins and local recurrence) after paterson
The Kennedy report into the actions of the disgraced Breast Surgeon, Paterson focussed on issues of informed consent for mastectomy, management of surgical margins and raised concerns about local recurrence rates and the increasing emphasis on cosmesis after mastectomy for breast cancer. This article assesses whether Kennedy’s recommendations apply to the UK as a whole and how to address these issues. New GMC advice on consent and newer nonevidenced innovations in immediate reconstruction have altered the level of informed consent required. Patients deserve a better understanding of the issues of oncological versus cosmetic outcomes on which to base their decisions. Involvement of the whole multidisciplinary team including Oncologists is necessary in surgical planning. Failure to obtain clear microscopic margins at mastectomy leads to an increased local recurrence, yet has received little attention in the UK. Whereas, other countries have used surgical quality assurance audits to reduce local recurrence; local recurrence rates are not available and the extent of variation across the UK in margin involvement after surgery, its management and relationship to local recurrence needs auditing prospectively to reduce unnecessary morbidity. To reassure public, patients and the NHS management, an accreditation system with more rigour than NHSBSP QA and peer review is now required. Resource and efforts to support its introduction will be necessary from the Royal College of Surgeons and the Association of Breast Surgeons. New innovations require careful evaluation before their backdoor introduction to the NHS. Private Hospitals need to have the same standards imposed.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10549-017-4369-3
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