, Volume 11, Issue 3 Supplement, pp 231S-235S

Sentinel node biopsy in breast cancer patients: Triple technique as a routine procedure

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Since its introduction in the early 1990s, the sentinel node (SN) concept in breast cancer has been validated by many studies. Because SN biopsy in breast cancer enables the identification of node-negative axillae, the potential morbidity of an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) can be avoided. The SN procedure is still surrounded by many variables and uncertainties, such as the clinical relevance of micrometastases. However, the main goal is to avoid unnecessary ALND in node-negative breast cancer patients. Sufficient clinical data are available to achieve this goal by incorporating the SN procedure into routine clinical practice. The ultimate safety of the applied technique will be determined by the number of axillary recurrences during long-term follow-up. Preoperative lymphoscintigraphy and intraoperative use of both blue dye and a hand-held gamma probe—the triple technique—has been applied at our institute since early 1994.