Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

The sentinel node is part of a network of lymphatic vessels and is the first lymph node to receive drainage from a cancer-containing region of the breast.

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is a diagnostic procedure to determine if the cancer in the breast has spread to the axillary lymph nodes, which are located in the armpit region.

Procedure

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is removal of one or a small number of axillary lymph nodes. After they are removed, they are closely reviewed by a pathologist to determine if they show any signs of cancerous growth. If the removed lymph nodes do not contain cancer cells, this will eliminate the need for the removal of the rest of the axillary lymph nodes.

We performed

1,315

breast surgeries in 2015.

On the day of your surgery, you will be injected a small dose of a very safe low-level radioactive tracer and a blue dye into the breast that contains the cancer. The radioactive fluid can be traced with a handheld gamma ray counter, helping your surgeon locate the sentinel nodes in the axilla. Once the sentinel node is located, your surgeon will make a minor incision and remove the nodes.