We use sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy to diagnose and stage cancer. This procedure helps us determine whether cancer has metastasized (spread) to the axillary lymph nodes (lymph glands under the arm).
In a sentinel lymph node biopsy, a radioactive substance and/or a dye is injected near the tumor site. Then, the first lymph nodes that pick up the dye (called the sentinel lymph nodes) are removed and reviewed by a pathologist to check for the presence of cancer cells. This procedure is sometimes preferred to standard lymph node dissection because it involves removing fewer lymph nodes.
A sentinel lymph node biopsy is commonly used in breast cancer treatment. Since it helps to spare lymph nodes in the underarm area, this procedure may help to prevent a condition known as lymphedema, in which excess fluid collects in tissue and causes swelling.
At NYC Surgical, we will always choose the least invasive method to get our patients the optimal results.