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Sentinel Node Biopsy

This surgical procedure to assess the lymph nodes in the axilla (armpit) to evaluate for spread of cancer involves two steps:

  • Blue dye injection (the blue dye helps find the sentinel lymph nodes)
  • Removal of the lymph nodes


In the operating room, your surgeon will inject blue dye into your breast and massage the breast to spread the dye. The surgeon will then make an incision at the lower border of the hairline in the axilla (armpit) and find the blue stained node(s) that is/are radioactive. These will be sent for testing. Your incision will be closed with sutures, which are under the skin and dissolve on their own, then bandaged.

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