Background: In patients with breast cancer who choose mastectomy with immediate reconstruction, the sentinel lymph node (SLN) status on permanent histology may complicate treatment if a metastasis is found. The purpose of this study was to determine how performing an SLN biopsy (SLNB) before the definitive operation would influence subsequent surgical procedures. Methods: Our SLN database was searched for patients who underwent staged SLNB with subsequent mastectomy between 2001 and 2004. Results: Twenty-five patients with 27 breast cancers underwent SLNB before mastectomy. Of them, 9 of 27 (33%) were node positive. All 9 patients underwent modified radical mastectomy. Three node-positive patients did not undergo immediate reconstruction. Of the remaining 6 node-positive patients, 5 underwent reconstruction with autologous tissue rather than a tissue expander. In contrast, 6 of 16 (37%) node-negative patients underwent reconstruction with a tissue expander. Conclusions: Staged SLNB assists in selecting the appropriate operation in patients who are considering immediate reconstruction.
- Axillary lymph node dissection
- Axillary staging
- Postmastectomy radiation
- Transverse rectus abdominis musculocutaneous delay
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