Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy

Identification, removal and examination to determine whether cancer cells are present in the lymph nodes of the axilla.

A sentinel lymph node biopsy is typically performed by Dr. Santillan at the same time as, or a Hidden Scar procedure. In a sentinel lymph node biopsy, one or more sentinel lymph nodes are removed. By removing these sentinel lymph nodes, Dr. Santillan will be removing the cancer cells from your lymphatic system so the cancer won’t spread to other parts of your body.

Dr. Santillan will inject blue, radioactive dye into your breast tumor. This dye will spread to your lymph nodes to help him see your lymph nodes. Once these nodes are identified, an incision is made in your armpit (also called your axilla). An incision in this location will be hidden.  

These sentinel lymph nodes are sent to a pathologist during your surgery to determine if cancer cells are present. If the pathologist finds cancer cells in your sentinel lymph nodes, it means that your cancer has entered your lymphatic system. If the pathologist does not find cancer cells in your sentinel lymph nodes, then your cancer has not entered your lymphatic system and, therefore, has not spread.