Intraoperative assessment of breast surgical margins will be of value for reducing the rate of re-excision surgeries for lumpectomy patients. While frozen-section histology is used for intraoperative guidance of certain cancers, it provides limited sampling of the margin surface (typically <1 % of the margin) and is inferior to gold-standard histology, especially for fatty tissues that do not freeze well, such as breast specimens. Microscopy with ultraviolet surface excitation (MUSE) is a nondestructive superficial optical-sectioning technique that has the potential to enable rapid, high-resolution examination of excised margin surfaces. Here, a MUSE system is developed with fully automated sample translation to image fresh tissue surfaces over large areas and at multiple levels of defocus, at a rate of ∼5 min / cm2. Surface extraction is used to improve the comprehensiveness of surface imaging, and 3-D deconvolution is used to improve resolution and contrast. In addition, an improved fluorescent analog of conventional H&E staining is developed to label fresh tissues within ∼5 min for MUSE imaging. We compare the image quality of our MUSE system with both frozen-section and conventional H&E histology, demonstrating the feasibility to provide microscopic visualization of breast margin surfaces at speeds that are relevant for intraoperative use.