Mastectomy and concomitant sentinel lymph node biopsy for invasive breast cancer

Michael S. Sabel, Amy Degnim, Edwin G. Wilkins, Kathleen M. Diehl, Vincent M. Cimmino, Alfred E. Chang, Lisa A. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background Although sentinel lymph node biopsy (SNLB) has become a standard ancillary to breast conservation, there remains a hesitancy to perform SLNB concomitant with mastectomy primarily because of concerns regarding reoperation for a positive SLN. Methods A retrospective review of 51 patients who underwent SLN biopsy concomitantly with mastectomy for invasive breast cancer was performed. In addition, a survey was sent to surgical oncologists who routinely perform SLNB in conjunction with mastectomy. Results The SLN was identified in 98% of patients, and an average of 2.4 SLNs/patient were removed. The SLN was positive in 14 patients (27%). Ten patients underwent axillary lymph node dissection as a second procedure; an average of 15.4 ± 6 nodes were cleared, and there were no complications. Although techniques vary greatly among surgeons, the majority believe that a subsequent ALND procedure does not carry additional risk of morbidity. Conclusions Mastectomy and concomitant SLNB is a safe option for well-selected breast cancer patients. Results appear acceptable using a variety of techniques. Patients with a positive SLN can safely undergo completion axillary lymph node dissections. This includes patients who have undergone immediate reconstruction, but proper planning is needed to minimize potential risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-678
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Mastectomy
  • Sentinal lymph node biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Mastectomy and concomitant sentinel lymph node biopsy for invasive breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this