Lymph Node (Axillary) Surgery

What is Lymph Node (Axillary) Surgery?

Lymph node or axillary surgery is usually performed during breast cancer surgery. Your surgeon will remove some or all of the lymph or axillary nodes in your armpit. This type of surgery is also called axillary lymph node dissection or removal.

What is a sentinel node biopsy?

The sentinel lymph node is the first lymph node to which cancer is likely to spread from the initial tumor.During a sentinel node biopsy the sentinel lymph node is removed and examined under a microscope to ascertain whether cancer cells are present.

Who is Lymph Node (Axillary) Surgery suitable for?

Lymph node or axillary surgery is suitable for those with invasive breast cancer.

Why is Lymph Node (Axillary) Surgery done?

Lymph node or axillary surgery is done to assist doctors in understanding the extent of cancer involvement. Lymph nodes are responsible for filtering out cancer cells and the presence or absence of cancer in the lymph or axillary nodes is an important indicator of the best type of treatment for you.

What is the process during Lymph Node (Axillary) surgery?

During lymph node or axillary surgery, one or a few lymph nodes (including sentinel node or nodes) are removed. To identify these lymph node(s), a small amount of radioactive substance or blue dye is injected near the tumor. The surgeon then looks for the lymph node(s) stained with dye or the radioactive substance. Once the lymph or axillary nodes are located, the surgeon makes a small incision and removes the lymph node(s).

The lymph and sentinel node(s) are then assessed for the presence of cancer cells and if cancer is found, the surgeon will usually remove more lymph nodes (axillary dissection) during the breast cancer surgery.

    Need medical advice?

    Schedule an appointment for the same day or within 48 hours with an urgent GP referral.

    GP referral is required for all appointments except for mammogram screening.

    Call us on 0800 78 62 75
    or 09 520 0389


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