Sentinal lymph node biopsy after mastectomy.

Posted by sandyjr @sandyjr, Sun, Jun 28 10:44pm

Has anyone had set an a lymph node biopsy after a mastectomy? My doctor tells me that after a mastectomy you have to have an axillary dissection. I have read that it is possible to get the sentinal lymph node biopsy and I’m wondering if anyone has had it or knows of a doctor or facility that performs this.

@sandyjr
Hi, Sandy. The surgeon who performed your mastectomy would be the person with whom you would discuss the axillary dissection. This is different from a sentinel node biopsy which is performed with lumpectomy.

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I do not believe you can have a sentinel node biopsy after a mastectomy. I had mine at the time of my mastectomy. They need to inject into breast tissue before identifying and removing the sentinel node. So, if you did not have a sentinel node biopsy, an axillary node dissection may need to be done to asses if cancer cells have traveled from your breast. This information is used to stage you and plan further treatment. Good luck🙏

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@betsyk

I do not believe you can have a sentinel node biopsy after a mastectomy. I had mine at the time of my mastectomy. They need to inject into breast tissue before identifying and removing the sentinel node. So, if you did not have a sentinel node biopsy, an axillary node dissection may need to be done to asses if cancer cells have traveled from your breast. This information is used to stage you and plan further treatment. Good luck🙏

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I have had BC twice with sentinel nodes removed for both lumpectomies. I am having a prophylactic mastectomy in July and the surgeon told me that if I was to get cancer again they would have to do an axillary node dissection. Since then I have found information saying that sentinel node biopsy can still be performed after mastectomy and I am curious if anyone has been able to get it done or knows more information about it.

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I had the axillary dissection, at the same time as my bilateral mastectomy (with the injection just before surgery for surgeon to identify the sentinel node). I don’t know of anyone who has had it separately afterwards. I agree with @elizm to talk with your surgeon about your options. Best wishes to you!

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