[Sentinel lymph node biopsy technique in breast cancer surgery in a hospital without a nuclear medical service].

Cirugia espanola

PubMedID: 17349235

Culell P, Solernou L, Fraile M, Tarazona J, Miguel A, Villa V. [Sentinel lymph node biopsy technique in breast cancer surgery in a hospital without a nuclear medical service]. Cir Esp. 2007;81(3):126-9.
INTRODUCTION
Knowledge of lymph node stage is the most important prognostic factor in breast cancer. The sentinel lymph node biopsy technique (SLNBT), initially developed to avoid unnecessary dissection in melanoma, has been shown to be able to predict the axillary stage of breast cancer. The difficulty of applying the SLNBT in hospitals without a nuclear medicine service has led to the existence of external teams that allow these hospitals to apply the technique.

OBJECTIVE
To test the application of the SLNBT in our hospital which has no nuclear medicine service.

PATIENTS AND METHODS
Coinciding with the validation of the SLNBT in the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital in Badalona in November 1999, and with their help, the Centre Hospitalari de Manresa began to apply this technique. In 2002, the technique was used in all the hospitals of the ALTHAIA-Xarxa Assistencial de Manresa. From November 1999 to June 2005, the technique was applied in 163 patients.

RESULTS
Of the 163 patients, the technical success rate was 97.55%. In 98% of the patients, the sentinel lymph node was found in the axilla. In 10.7% of the patients, the node was found in the internal mammary basin. Twenty-six percent of the axillas had metastases of over 2 mm, and 16% had micrometastases. One hundred and five patients were spared axillary dissection.

CONCLUSIONS
The SLNBT can be performed in a hospital without a nuclear medicine service. This technique improves and simplifies the surgical technique and reduces length of hospital stay and morbidity.