This procedure assesses whether cancer cells have migrated past a primary tumour and into the lymphatic system. Sentinel lymph node sampling is advised for persons with certain forms of cancer. For example, endometrial cancer patients frequently undergo a sentinel node biopsy. Sentinel lymph nodes are a safer alternative to complete pelvic and para-aortic lymph node dissection. The procedure presents with much fewer complications and provides a more accurate confirmation of the cancer stage.



Sentinel lymph node sampling is done in conjunction with a hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. The procedure is usually done laparoscopically.

Cells in the endometrium, the uterus' inner lining, begin to proliferate out of control, signifying the beginning of endometrial cancer. As a result, cancer has the potential to spread to other areas of the body.

The body's lymphatic system is composed of tiny, globular structures called lymph nodes. The lymphatic system is a major component of the immune system; the system comprises a network of veins and organs that transport lymph, a clear fluid that fights infections, regulates fluid levels and carries cellular waste. Typically, the kidneys or liver remove broken-down bacteria from the bloodstream. Lymph in a cancer patient can harbour cancer cells detached from the primary tumour. The first lymph nodes that drain the affected organ are known as sentinel nodes.

What does this procedure entail?

A dye is injected into the body by Dr Bryant before the procedure. A laparoscopy is then done, and red lighting is used to identify uterine sentinel nodes. One to five sentinel nodes are typically present, and they are sampled and sent to the pathologist. The uterus is then removed.

What can I expect after the procedure?

Sentinel lymph node mapping identifies the initial lymph nodes that the tumour drains into. This is an apparent sign cancer cells have broken and spread from the tumour site to the lymph nodes. The procedure is imperative since it's a strong indication of whether or not cancer has spread. Dr Bryant normally provides postoperative instructions after every procedure performed. 

If the sentinel nodes don’t indicate cancer, Dr Bryant does not need to remove any more lymph nodes.


How long does a lymph node biopsy take?

This procedure will only take Dr Bryant thirty to forty-five minutes to perform.

When can I return to work after the procedure?

Dr Bryant recommends one to two days of recovery before returning to work.

Can I drive myself home from a lymph node biopsy?

It would help if you did not drive yourself home. You will not be able to drive for at least a week after surgery.

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