Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- What is a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
- What is the lymphatic drainage?
- Why do a biopsy of the sentinel node?
- How does a tumor spread?
- How is it determined which is the sentinel node?
- What types of specialists perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
- What happens during a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
- What does the sentinel lymph node biopsy show?
- What are the benefits of a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
- What are the side effects and complications of a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
- Is the use of the sentinel lymph node biopsy common?
- What is the recovery time after a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
What are the side effects and complications of a sentinel lymph node biopsy?
The most common side effects are short-term bruising, pain, or swelling at the surgical site. As with any surgery, bleeding and infection are possible complications. Another possible risk is a false-negative result, which means that tumor cells are present but not detected by the procedure. Studies with breast cancer patients have shown false-negative rates of around 10%.
Is the use of the sentinel lymph node biopsy common?
Yes. Sentinel lymph node biopsy has, for example, become a standard technique for determining the nodal stage of the disease in some patients with malignant melanoma and with breast cancer. The use of sentinel node biopsy is still being investigated with other types of cancer.
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