A sentinel node biopsy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that determines whether cancer has spread beyond the primary tumor site. The sentinel node is the first lymph node that drains fluid from the tumor, and therefore it is the most likely place for cancer cells to spread.
A small incision is made in the skin during a sentinel node biopsy, and a radioactive tracer is injected near the tumor. The tracer travels through the lymphatic system and collects in the sentinel node. A surgeon then uses a special camera to locate the sentinel node and removes it for testing.
If the sentinel node tests positive for cancer, the cancer cells have likely spread to other lymph nodes. In this case, additional treatment (such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy) may be necessary. If the sentinel node tests negative for cancer, the cancer is likely confined to the primary tumor site, and further treatment may not be necessary.
Sentinel node biopsy is a relatively new procedure and is not yet widely available. However, it offers a less invasive alternative to traditional lymph node dissection, which involves removing all the lymph nodes in the affected area.
Everything You Need To Know Sentinel Node Biopsy
What to expect before, during and after the sentinel node biopsy procedure?
Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to numb the area around the biopsy site. You can take some sedatives to help you relax.
During the procedure:
A small incision will be made in your skin near the tumor. A special dye will be injected into the sentinel lymph node. This dye helps the surgeon locate the node.
Once the node is located, a small tissue sample will be removed and sent for testing. The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes.
After the procedure:
Once the procedure is done, you will be monitored for any side effects from the anesthesia. Once it wears off, you can go home. You may have some bruising and swelling at the biopsy site.
You can take over-the-counter pain medication to help with any discomfort. Your doctor will give you specific instructions for faster recovery. You will have a follow-up visit with your doctor 1 to 2 weeks after the procedure.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer and your doctor recommends a sentinel node biopsy, it is important to ask questions and understand all of your options. You may also want to get a second opinion from another doctor before making any treatment decisions.
What are the possible risks and complications involved
There is also a small risk of damage to the nearby lymph nodes, which can cause lymphedema, where fluid builds up in the tissues and causes swelling. In most cases, lymphedema is treated with compression garments and physical therapy.
Overall, sentinel node biopsy is a safe and effective way to determine whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.
Benefits of Sentinel Node Biopsy
In addition, sentinel node biopsies are often less invasive than other types of cancer biopsies, with a shorter recovery time.
And because they allow doctors to remove only the lymph nodes that are most likely to contain cancerous cells, they may help preserve lymphatic function and reduce the risk of lymphedema Risks of Sentinel Node Biopsy.
Dr. Jay Anam is one of the most experienced breast cancer surgeons in Mumbai, India. Talk to our doctor if you have any questions about Sentinel Node Biopsy. Our team of oncologists and radiologists can assist you. We are more than happy to help!
About Dr. Jay Rashmi Anam
Dr Jay Anam is one of the best surgical oncologists in India. With an expertise as a breast cancer surgeon, he believes in world class cancer care for all the patients.
Dr. Jay Anam focuses on Breast Oncology, and his scope of work includes:
- Breast Cancer surgeries, including Mastectomy, Breast Conservation Surgery, Aesthetic and Cosmetic Breast reconstruction–Oncoplasty to retain breast shape and size during the treatment of breast cancer.
- Sentinel Node Biopsy to limit the extent of the node dissection in early breast cancers.
- Sono-Guided and Wire- localized Breast Surgeries for screen-detected Breast Cancers.
- Flap reconstructions for advanced Breast Cancers.
- Aesthetic Breast Surgery for benign breast tumours.
Patient Treated By Dr. Jay Anam
People heavily rely on reviews from other patients when choosing a healthcare provider
Dr. Jay Anam is a warm, kind, sympathetic, and brilliant doctor who handles his patients with dignity and respect, in my opinion. He has an incredible talent for motivating his patients and inspiring them to give more than 100% confidence. "Ruma, enjoy this voyage and you will be OK!" he said, and I still remember his words. These words have struck a chord in my heart throughout my wellness voyage, and I am a warrior. Dr. Jay Anam comes across as a terrific friend, and he makes you feel at ease throughout the procedure as if you've known him for years. He is forthcoming and available 24/7 for any queries.
I got operated in Nov 2021. The word cancer can be so daunting and brings loads of stress in a patient's life. But i was fortunate that I met the right surgeon - Dr Jay Anam, post meeting him was relaxed and knew I am in safe hands. He explained the surgery in minute detail and patiently answered all my queries. Post surgery outcome was also discussed and nothing was left to guessing. He was on time for the surgery and i have to admit that the cuts and scars are minimal and it was a very clean n neatly done job. Post surgery he was always available on phone for any issue I faced. Post surgery follow up visit was also handled professionally.
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