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To scoop or not to scoop: the diagnostic and therapeutic utility of the scoop-shave biopsy for pigmented lesions
University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications
  • Gary Mendese, Boston University
  • Mary E. Maloney, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jeremy S. Bordeaux, Case Western Reserve University
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology
Publication Date
Document Type
Biopsy; Humans; Melanoma; Nevus, Pigmented; Prospective Studies; Skin Neoplasms

BACKGROUND: Concern over transection of melanomas has inhibited many practitioners from using the scoop-shave for removal of pigmented lesions.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the safety and efficacy of the scoop-shave for pigmented lesions.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The practitioner's clinical diagnosis, intent (sample or completely remove), and removal technique (excision, punch, shave biopsy, or scoop-shave) were recorded. Pathology results including the status of the peripheral and deep margins were subsequently documented. RESULTS: Over an 8-month period, 333 procedures were performed. Of the 11 melanomas (6 in situ and 5 invasive) removed by the scoop-shave, none had positive deep margins and 6 (2 in situ and 4 invasive) were completely removed. One of the 50 dysplastic nevi removed by scoop-shave had a positive deep margin (moderately dysplastic). Forty-six dysplastic nevi were completely removed by the scoop-shave. When the practitioner's intent was "complete removal," the lesion was completely removed 73.1% of the time by scoop-shave, 91% by standard excision, 18.1% by shave biopsy, and 78.6% by punch excision (p < .0001).

CONCLUSION: The scoop-shave is a safe and effective technique for diagnosis and treatment of melanocytic lesions.

DOI of Published Version
Dermatol Surg. 2014 Oct;40(10):1077-83. doi: 10.1097/01.DSS.0000452659.60130.68. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Gary Mendese, Mary E. Maloney and Jeremy S. Bordeaux. "To scoop or not to scoop: the diagnostic and therapeutic utility of the scoop-shave biopsy for pigmented lesions" Vol. 40 Iss. 10 (2014) ISSN: 1076-0512 (Linking)
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