Meridian's Breast Surgery Program provides treatment for a range of malignant and non-malignant conditions.
In this procedure, a surgeon may only have to remove one or a small cluster of lymph nodes to know whether or not breast cancer has spread to the underarm lymph nodes. This procedure leaves the other non-involved, functional lymph nodes intact. The procedure allows for the surgeon to better understand the cancer with the least amount of incisions.
Axillary lymph node dissection
Based on the physical exam performed by the physician and other key indicators, the physician may recommend a axillary lymph node dissection. In this procedure, the surgeon will generally remove between five and thirty nodes. The number of involved lymph nodes strongly predicts the nature of the cancer and the kind of treatment needed to fight it which is what makes this procedure so important.
Sentinel lymph node biopsy
The sentinel lymph nodes are the first few lymph nodes to receive drainage from a tumor. That means that these lymph nodes are the first to which cancer cells would spread. The biopsy is performed to determine if there are tumor cells in the node. If the sentinel lymph node does not contain tumor cells then the disease has not likely spread to lymph nodes or other organs via the lymphatic system.