Sentinel node localisation

What is a Sentinel Node Localisation?

The sentinel lymph node is the first few lymph nodes to which the cancer can spread. This procedure is carried out to localise these nodes. During surgery the lymph node is removed and then analysed to find out if it has been affected by cancer cells.

What is this scan used for?

This procedure can help the surgeon determine which lymph nodes to remove, without the risk of complications associated with surgically removing all potentially cancerous nodes.

How can I prepare for this procedure?

  • There is no specific preparation for the test.
  • You can eat and drink normally.
  • If there is any chance you could be pregnant, or if you are breastfeeding, please inform the Department at least 24 hours before your appointment on 0161 495 7040.

What happens during the procedure?

  • You will be asked to undress to your waist and to put on a gown.
  • You will have a small injection of radioactive tracer under the skin of your affected breast next to your nipple. The ‘pin prick’ of the injection may sting a little.
  • You will not feel any side effects from the injection.
  • The tracer will be taken up by the sentinel node over several hours.
  • We may do some images after the injection.
  • Depending on when your surgery is you will either return to the ward or go home after the procedure.

Paying for your procedure

The cost of Sentinel Lymph Node Localisation procedure is covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own scan, please ask for the cost of the procedure to be explained when you book the appointment.

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