|Lymph Node Biopsy|
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Reasons for Procedure
- Bleeding or bruising
- Nerve damage and chronic pain
- Allergy to dye
- Delayed wound healing
- Additional pain
- Lymphedema—a condition in which fluids collect under the skin causing swelling
- Recent or long-term illness
- Poor nutrition
- Use of certain medications
- Bleeding disorders
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Imaging studies may be done to look for cancer spread or the location of the sentinel nodes and may include:
- Eat a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
- General anesthesia—You will be asleep.
- Local anesthesia—The area will be numb.
- Regional anesthesia—An area of your body will be numb.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- Redness, warmth, swelling, stiffness, or hardness in the extremity
- Dark or swollen fingers and toes
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which last for more than 2 days after discharge from the hospital
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- New, unexplained symptoms
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Dauway EL, Giuliano R, et al. Lymphatic mapping in breast cancer. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 1999;13:349-371.
Leong SP. The role of sentinel lymph nodes in malignant melanoma. Surg Clin North Am. 2000;80:1741-1757.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy: questions and answers. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/sentinel-node-biopsy. Updated August 11, 2011. Accessed December 16, 2014.
Veronesi U, Paganelli G, et al. Sentinel-lymph-node biopsy as a staging procedure in breast cancer: update of a randomized controlled study. Lancet Oncol. 2006;7:983-990.
1/22/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Torres Lacomba M, Yuste Sánchez MJ, Zapico Goñi A, et al. Effectiveness of early physiotherapy to prevent lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer: randomised, single blinded, clinical trial. BMJ. 2010;340:b5396.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 12/2014 -
- Update Date: 04/29/2013 -