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Sentinel Node Biopsy (cont.)

Who Is Not a Good Candidate for Sentinel Node Biopsy?

Not all women are good candidates for sentinel node biopsy. A woman with any of the following may be a poor candidate for the procedure:

  • Lymph nodes that are palpable (can be felt through the skin) and hard (in this situation a fine needle aspirate of the lymph node can help determine if it is cancerous or not)
  • The only absolute contraindications are
    • cancer already identified in the lymph nodes (by FNA) and
    • prior mastectomy.

In addition, the following factors are associated with an increased risk of complications involving most surgeries (but none are specific contraindications to sentinel lymph node biopsy):

  • Poor general health
  • Long-term illness
  • Obesity
  • Advanced age
  • Smoking
  • Conditions that affect the blood
  • Using certain medications or dietary supplements
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/20/2014
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