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Objective

To determine the outcome of tangential shave removal (TS) of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) on the trunk and extremities.

Design

Cohort study of patients with multiple truncal BCC treated using TS in an academic dermatologic surgery practice.

Setting

Academic institution referral practice.

Patients

Individuals with BCC referred to the dermatologic surgery unit for ongoing therapy of multiple lesions.

Interventions

TS of amenable superficial and nodular BCCs with twice-annual follow-up. Lesions were removed using a scalpel as a uniform-depth mid-to-upper dermal shave and sent for routine pathology. Basic wound care was applied.

Primary Outcome Measures

Apparent cure rate and outcome of scars.

Results

One hundred eighty-two BCCs were treated in 19 individuals. Patients were followed for an average of 5.2 years. One lesion recurred. Three specimens had positive margins requiring further surgery. Scarring was acceptable and similar to what is observed with curettage and electrocoagulation.

Conclusions

TS is a reasonable treatment for primary superficial and nodular BCC on the trunk and extremities.