Benefits of a Breast Lymphoscintigraphy
Lymphoscintigraphy procedures are ordered to determine location of sentinel lymph node for surgical removal.
Preparing for a Lymphoscintigraphy Procedure
There are no dietary or medication restrictions for the actual nuclear medicine procedure, however you will need to follow surgical restrictions provided by the surgeon or pre-admission staff.
Undergoing a Procedure
Once brought to the department, a certified nuclear medicine technologist will verify your identity, explain the procedure and take you into the scanning room. Once the nuclear medicine physician arrives, a "timeout" is called. That means we stop what we are doing and re-verify the identity of the patient and what breast we will perform the test on. Once satisfied, we will administer the injection under the skin of the affected breast.
Please note the injection is very small, usually one-to-two drops of liquid. It is mixed with an agent to minimize any discomfort. Most patients will feel the slight pinch but nothing more. Twenty minutes after the injection, you will be placed on a padded imaging table while a camera comes next to you. Two images (front and side) will be taken. If the isotope migrates to the sentinel node, the procedure is stopped and you will be transported to same day services.
If the material did not migrate (is common and nothing to worry about) we will wait for at least 20 minutes and repeat the same pictures. Once the second set of images is done you will be transported to same day services. A board-certified nuclear medicine physician will interpret your scan. The results will be available to the surgeon prior to your operating room time.