Sentinel lymph node biopsy is a procedure in which the sentinel lymph node is identified, removed and examined for cancer cells. It is used in people who have already been diagnosed with cancer. No doubt cancer is one of the most heart-breaking diseases someone can face, but our technology is here to help you. If the sentinel lymph node biopsy is negative, it means that cancer has not yet spread to nearby lymph nodes or other organs. If the sentinel lymph node biopsy is positive, it means that cancer is present in the sentinel lymph node. It is also possible that it has spread to other nearby lymph nodes (regional lymph nodes) and other organs. Doctors use this information to stage cancer (the extent of disease in the body) and create an appropriate treatment plan.

What happens during sentinel lymph node biopsy?

First, the sentinel lymph nodes are located. To do this, the surgeon injects a radioactive substance or a blue dye (or both) near the tumor. Next, the surgeon detects the lymph nodes with a device containing the radioactive substance or looks for nodes that are dyed blue. Once the sentinel lymph node is found, the surgeon makes a small incision (about 1/2 inch) in the overlying skin and removes the node.

A pathologist then analyzes the sentinel node for the presence of cancer cells. If cancer is detected, the surgeon sometimes removes other lymph nodes, either during the biopsy or later in a follow-up surgical procedure. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is done on an outpatient basis or with a short hospital stay.

In general, sentinel lymph node biopsy is done at the same time the primary tumor is removed. In some cases, it is also possible to do the procedure before or after the tumor is removed. This will depend on how much the lymph ducts have been affected. 

What are the benefits of sentinel lymph node biopsy?

Sentinel lymph node biopsy helps doctors estimate the stage of cancer and the risk of tumor cells spreading to other parts of the body. If no cancer is found in the sentinel node, the patient may not need to have more lymph nodes removed. This reduces the complications that sometimes occur when many lymph nodes are removed.

Contact us

Intramedical Imaging is a company created in 1998. We specialize in the design, development, and sale of medical equipment for the detection of cancer during surgery. Our molecular imaging equipment is the most sensitive and modern equipment that can be used during an operation to identify abnormal tissues.