Sentinel lymph node biopsy during prophylactic mastectomy: Is there a role?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose We investigated rates of occult malignancy in the breast and sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) in patients undergoing prophylactic mastectomy (PM) and whether routine sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is justified. Methods A retrospective review of our database identified patients undergoing PMs with SLNB. Descriptive statistics were utilized for data summary. A P value of <0.05 was considered significant. Results There were 384 patients during the study period who underwent 467 PMs. Of the 467 PMs, 15 (3.2%) cancers were found on final pathology. All 6 of the invasive cancers identified were T1. A total of 682 SLNs were taken for an average of 1.46 SLNs per PM. There were 5 positive SLNs (1.1%). All were in patients undergoing contralateral PM for either history of breast cancer or new diagnosis of breast cancer. Only one patient with a positive SLN was found to have an occult breast malignancy in the PM specimen. Conclusion In 467 PMs performed, 15 (3.2%) occult malignancies were found in the breast and 5 (1.1%) positive SLNs were found. Based on these results, the routine use of SLNB at the time of PM is unnecessary and does not warrant the morbidity associated with this procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-750
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • breast cancer
  • prophylactic mastectomy
  • sentinel lymph node biopsy


Dive into the research topics of 'Sentinel lymph node biopsy during prophylactic mastectomy: Is there a role?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this