Of 1,245 patients treated with breast-conserving surgery and radiotherapy for Stage I and II breast cancers, 118 required a secondary operation subsequently for apparently isolated recurrence in the treated breast. Fifty-two of these 118 patients were selected for salvage treatment with wide excision, with or without axillary dissection, instead of resorting to mastectomy. With a median follow-up of 6 years, the actuarial cancer-specific survival (Kaplan-Meier) after treatment of recurrence was 79% at 5 years and 64% at 10 years. The probability of local control in the treated breast was 79% at 5 years after conservative salvage surgery. Of 12 patients in whom second local or regional recurrences developed, ten could be treated by further surgery. We concluded from this experience that wedge excision represents an adequate alternative to mastectomy in the salvage treatment of isolated breast recurrences that are mobile, 2 cm or smaller in diameter, and without signs of rapid growth.