Sentinel lymph node scintigraphy

We typically perform a scintigraphy of the sentinel lymph nodes shortly before a schedule surgery, e. g., prior to removing a malignant tumor. The purpose is to look for the so-called sentinel lymph node(s) which are the first to be affected if a tumor spreads.

The condition of the sentinel lymph node is of vital importance for a prognosis of the disease progression and therapy decision. Since the lymph drainage is variable and thus frequently not foreseeable, the position of the sentinel lymph node must be determined individually for each patient by means of a scintigraphy scan. During surgery it is then possible to locate the sentinel lymph node with a measuring device (hand-held gamma probe) and remove it. This is a major advantage for our patients, since this method facilitates much more comfortable procedures than radically removing all regional lymph nodes according to previous schools of thought.