Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Surg Oncol. 2009 Feb;35(2):159-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2008.07.017. Epub 2008 Sep 11.

Axillary recurrences after negative sentinel lymph node biopsy under local anaesthesia for breast cancer: a follow-up study after 5 years.

Author information

Department of Surgery, VieCuri Medical Centre, Venlo, The Netherlands.



Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is accepted as a standard surgical staging procedure for determining the tumour status of the regional lymph nodes. Until September 2000 we performed SLNB in general anaesthesia. Since 1999, after validation of the SLNB concept, axillary dissection was omitted in SLN-negative patients. This study presents our data after SLNB under local anaesthesia after a follow-up of at least 5 years.


Between September 2000 and May 2003, 356 SLNBs were performed under local anaesthesia without sedation in patients with proven breast cancer (T4-tumours and small in situ carcinomas excluded) and without clinically or ultrasound guided cytological evidence of axillary node involvement. Lymphatic mapping and SLN identification were performed through the combination of blue dye and 99m Tc-nanocolloid. All positive SLNs were followed by an axillary dissection up to level three. SLN-negative patients were followed without axillary clearance.


In 353/356 SLNBs at least one sentinel node was found. 254/353 SLNs were tumour free. After a median follow-up of 73 months loco-regional and distant events were encountered in 10/353 SLNBs. Four patients (SLN-negative) showed tumour localization in the residual breast or chest wall (1.1%). Three patients (SLN-negative) presented with supraclavicular metastases (0.8%). In three patients (one SLN-negative and two SLN-positive followed by ALND) an axillary recurrence was encountered (0.8%).


This survey confirms the safety of the SLNB under local anaesthesia in selecting patients for axillary lymph node dissection in breast cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center