Inappropriate Halsted mastectomy and patient volume in Italian hospitals

R. Grilli, F. Mainini, A. Penna, G. Bertolini, N. Scorpiglione, V. Torri, A. Liberati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To study whether Halsted mastectomy was used only when properly indicated, a prospective survey was undertaken on the process of care of 985 breast cancer patients seen consecutively at 62 general hospitals in Northern and Central Italy. Overall, 79% of Halsted mastectomies were performed inappropriately. The procedure was less likely to be performed on more educated patients and, other factors considered, on those seen at hospitals with larger volume. We conclude that the measurement of utilization of a surgical procedure for which only a few appropriate indications exist may help identify important relationships between hospital characteristics and quality of surgical care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1762-1764
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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