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A Radical Shift in the Communication Paradigm in Head and Neck Frozen Section Analysis: Intraoperative Three-Dimensional Specimen Scanning


We describe a new method of intraoperative communication of margin mapping results for head and neck cancer specimens. The current standard of practice for pathologist/surgeon communication, specifically which anatomic regions require further action by the surgeon, is hampered by the fact that it is impossible to convey this information over the phone or by reviewing drawings or dissected specimens. We generate a virtual 3D representation of the resection specimen prior to dissection and margin assessment. The virtual specimen is then annotated with the results of margin mapping and becomes the basis of videoconferencing the margin results. A video connection is established and the 3D model serves as an outstanding platform for communicating vital information.

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Margaret Brandwein-Weber, MD
Professor, with Tenure, Department of Pathology
Chief of Pathology, Mount Sinai West
Mount Sinai Health System

Mark Urken, MD
Chief, Division of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology,
Co-Director, Institute for Head and Neck and Thyroid Cancer,
Department of Otolaryngology, Mount Sinai Union Square
Mount Sinai Health System