New Procedure for SNB's...

Hi All,

Saw this article in the The Times today…


Interesting to read this. I’m not sure how it differs from SNB (Sentinal Node Biopsy) which I had last year, which also checks the main lymph node for spread while the patient is still under general anaesthetic for WLE. Maybe it does away with the visit to the hospital the day before the op to have a radioactive dye injected into the breast which then goes to the main lymph node for the surgeon to check.

when I had SNB and mastectomy in Dec 05, my surgoen actioned immed full lymph node removal on the results of the SNB while i was under general.

just as well he had an immed result as 15/20 were involved.

at the time I remember him saying that not all hospitals had this facility and he was relieved that he did.


Great to hear this news. Alas too late for me. I was told it was highly unlikely it was in lymph glands, had SNB, had to wait about three weeks for results and then guess what a further op for full clearance and in 6 out of 21. When i asked bcn what the effect was of waiting she said none! You just do not know what to believe. I was very sceptical at the time that a delay could have nothing but a detrimental effect especially it is the very people who are needing chemo that it affects and need immediate results. I spent the only few nice days on 2008 in hospital having second op, I was told to come in on the sunday night, even though there was no one else on ward, and had to wait until late monday afternoon for op. i could easily have come early monday morning and enjoyed the sunshine!!!

Yes -too late for me too. Like starfish I was given to understand that it was highly likely that I would just need WLE with SNB & then rads as I had no palpable symptom- ( I was picked up on routine mammo). However the sentinel node was found to contain malignant cells - I found this out after a 2 week wait culminating in a 3 hour wait in the results clinic- not a clever way to break bad news.

However- my surgeon dealt really well with my shock at the news/anger at being kept so long /embarassment at allowing myself to get so upset etc etc - he was genuinely sorry that he had bad news for me and very apologetic that I had had to wait so long to hear it; he offered to fit me in on his list the very next day - when I had a level three clearance.

Sod’s law - the other nodes were clear - so the outcome for me would have been the same even with this new technique. My cancer proved to be Grade 3, Stage 3 so I had the 'orrible chemo etc - but I remain very grateful that I didn’t have to have a mastectomy.

I believe there are still surgeons who do not yet use SNB- I hope they will ALL soon learn the technique AND the new practice described in the Times article- and save as many women as possible from unnecessary surgery. It isn’t great to lose all your lymph nodes.