Background: Due to the increasing incidence of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and rising health care costs, health care insurance companies seek ways to shift skin surgery for BCC from secondary to primary care.
Objectives: To study the differences in complete excision of BCC by general practitioners (GPs), dermatologists, and plastic surgeons.
Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study of pathology records of 2,986 standard excisions of primary BCCs performed by a GP, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon in the area of Southwest Netherlands between 2008 and 2014. To compare the risk of an incomplete BCC excision between the specialties, the odds ratio (OR) was used adjusted for patient age, sex, tumor site, size, and histological subtype.
Results: BCCs were completely excised by GPs in 70%, which was lower than the 93% by dermatologists and 83% by plastic surgeons (p < 0.001). Compared to the dermatologist, BCCs which were excised by a GP were 6 times higher at risk of an incomplete excision (adjusted OR 6, 95% CI 5-8) and 2 times higher at risk when excised by a plastic surgeon (adjusted OR 2, 95% CI 2-3).
Conclusion: BCCs were more often completely excised by dermatologists than by GPs and plastic surgeons. Dermatologists probably perform better because of their extensive training and high experience in BCC care. To minimize incomplete BCC excision, GPs should receive specific training before the shift of BCC care from secondary to primary care is justifiable.

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Dermatology: international journal for clinical and investigative dermatology

Ramdas, K., van Lee, C., Beck, S. (Samuel), Bindels, P., Noordhoek Hegt, V., Pardo Cortes, L., … van den Bos, R. (2018). Differences in rate of complete excision of basal cell carcinoma by dermatologists, plastic surgeons and general practitioners. Dermatology: international journal for clinical and investigative dermatology, 234(3-4), 86–91. doi:10.1159/000490344