[en] Recently, the advanced breast biopsy instrumentation (ABBI) system has been introduced as an alternative to conventional breast biopsy techniques. This study was prospectively conducted to evaluate the potential of the ABBI method in locoregional management of a consecutive series of patients with nonpalpable mammographically detected breast carcinomas. Sixty-one consecutive patients underwent an ABBI procedure as a first step before possible surgery for nonpalpable breast lesions that would in any case require complete excision. For the 27 patients in whom the ABBI biopsy revealed malignancy further surgery was recommended, including re-excision of the biopsy site and axillary dissection in cases of infiltrating carcinoma. We calculated the probabilities that the ABBI specimen would have tumor-free margins and that a definitely complete excision had been achieved as a function of the mammographic or pathological diameter of the cancer. For cancer with a pathological diameter less than 10 mm, measured on the ABBI specimen, the probability (92%) of obtaining complete resection was significantly better than for larger lesions (P = 0.01, Fisher's exact test). Although the therapeutic perspectives for the ABBI method are limited at present, we suggest that this approach is a first step in the direction of a surgical strategy that is better adapted to the pathological characteristics peculiar to these small tumors, whose incidence is increasing. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.