1 in 4 who have partial mastectomies have 2nd surgery

February 1, 2012 5:55:00 AM PST
A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds close to one in four women who have partial mastectomies undergo a second surgery to remove suspicious tissue.

Some of these surgeries may be needless, according to the research, because guidelines for deciding who needs another surgery are unclear.

The study also hints that some women who might benefit from further surgery could be missing out.

The additional operations are done when pathology reports suggest the first operation may have left behind some cancer cells, but surgeons differ when it comes to interpreting those reports.