Sentinel Node Biopsy
Related Video: Mastectomy Lumpectomy
Complications are rare. But no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have this biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These may include:
- Bleeding or bruising
- Nerve damage and chronic pain
- Allergy to dye
If the lymph nodes are removed, there is an increased risk of the following:
- Delayed wound healing
- Additional pain
- Lymphedema—a condition in which fluids collect under the skin causing swelling
Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
- Recent or long-term illness
- Poor nutrition
- Use of certain medications
- Bleeding disorders
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
Copyright © EBSCO Information Services
All rights reserved.
American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org
National Cancer Institute http://www.cancer.gov
Dauway EL, Giuliano R, Haddad F, et al. Lymphatic mapping in breast cancer. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 1999;13(2):349-371.
Leong SP. The role of sentinel lymph nodes in malignant melanoma. Surg Clin North Am. 2000;80(6):1741-1757.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy: questions and answers. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/diagnosis-staging/staging/sentinel-node-biopsy-fact-sheet. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Veronesi U, Paganelli G, Viale G, et al. Sentinel-lymph-node biopsy as a staging procedure in breast cancer: update of a randomized controlled study. Lancet Oncol. 2006(12);7:983-990.
1/22/2010 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed.com : Torres Lacomba M, Yuste Sánchez MJ, Zapico Goñi A, et al. Effectiveness of early physiotherapy to prevent lymphoedema after surgery for breast cancer: randomised, single blinded, clinical trial. BMJ. 2010;340:b5396.