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Sentinel Node Dye Injection

aisling8's picture
aisling8
Posts: 1328
Joined: Feb 2010

Hello,

Lumpectomy surgery is tomorrow, but the sentinel node injection and locating was this afternoon. I've been nervous about will it or won't it hurt and I just want to put my two cents' worth in: the injection didn't hurt at all. I'm glad since I'd walked to the hospital and had to haul myself back home:) Hope this reassures anyone who might be nervous as I was.

Victoria

jbug
Posts: 285
Joined: Nov 2009

Glad you're experience wasn't bad...i'm sure it will be reassuring. Will be praying for you as you go for your lumpectomy tomorrow...let us know how you do.

God Bless...
Julie

Skeezie's picture
Skeezie
Posts: 585
Joined: Aug 2009

Glad the dye didn't hurt..Are they removing the Sentinel Node tomorrow during the lumpectomy? I will be thiking about you tomorrow and want to assure you that a lumpectomy is not at all bad.

Keep us posted.

Hugs, Judy :-)

bjmom1's picture
bjmom1
Posts: 152
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi Victoria, Good luck on your surgery. I,m happy that the node injection didn't hurt.

Will have you in my prayer.

cindycflynn's picture
cindycflynn
Posts: 1133
Joined: Oct 2009

Glad to hear it didn't hurt you!

I had mine done the same day as my lumpectomy. It stung a bit, but didn't really bother me that much. Since it was just before my surgery, I was more worried about the surgery and what the results of the lymph node biopsy would be than about the dye injection itself.

I remember them telling me that if they found anything in the sentinel node, they would have to take more nodes out, and I would wake up with a drain. If they sentinel node was clear, I'd have no drain. The first thing I did when I regained conciousness after my surgery was to feel for a drain. When I found nothing, I was very relieved. The worst part for me was the nausea I felt from coming out from the anesthesia, but it subsided pretty quickly and I went home within a couple of hours after my surgery. I needed very little of the pain meds they gave me and was down to taking only an occasional Tylenol by two days after my surgery.

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow and hoping your results were at least as good as mine were.

Please keep us posted when you can about how you're doing.

(((Hugz)))
Cindy

Christmas Girl's picture
Christmas Girl
Posts: 3661
Joined: Apr 2009

To you, Victoria. With hopes that your surgery tomorrow will go well, and that recovery afterwards will be speedy.

Kind regards, Susan

MyTurnNow's picture
MyTurnNow
Posts: 2694
Joined: Aug 2009

Victoria, just wanted to send my wishes for a successful surgery today and a quick recovery. Let us know, when you can, how you are doing. Take care.

KayNYC's picture
KayNYC
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 2010

I am scheduled for a lumpectomy next Wed and the sentinal node injection next Tuesday. I spoke with one of the volunteers at the breast center who told me that the procedure was very painful. I am so glad to hear that most comments here do not describe it to be so bad. I was beginning to dread the injection more than the surgery.
K

tally
Posts: 48
Joined: Mar 2010

I had also heard horror stories but I had it done before my lumpectomy on 2/25 and I can tell you I didn't feel a thing. The radiologist said it might sting a little and if it did I could rub it and it would not hurt anything to do so. But I did not have a problem with it. As for the lumpectomy, it was not bad at all. I had to have 3 lymph nodes removed and that was painful about the second day but I didn't have the drains. I had never had surgery before so I was pretty scared. But I can honestly tell you it wasn't bad at all. Good luck and I will be praying for you.

KayNYC's picture
KayNYC
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 2010

Thank you Tally. Everything seems to be happening so fast. I am now working on paperwork for a two week medical leave from my work. My surgeon said that 1-2 weeks was what most people needed before returning to work. I work in the same hospital as the cancer center so I will be close by and follow ups and rads will be conveniently located to work and home.

sunny_girl
Posts: 33
Joined: Dec 2009

I seem to have had a different procedure... I got the wire locators and a radioactive tracer injected in the morning. It wasn't really painful, although I'd taken a Vicodin before the wire location (thankfully), so I wasn't feeling too much. I waited an hour and then the radiologist scanned me lying in a big machine to find the node. Unfortunately, the tracer didn't work. An hour later, during my surgery, my surgeon injected the dye and found it that way. Anyone else have that?

youngnana's picture
youngnana
Posts: 41
Joined: Mar 2010

I was curious about the same thing. I declined a needle biopsy and requested they remove the lump for biopsy, and had the needle locate. I had a local, very little pain. They had a hard time with the needle locate, so I was glad for the local. During the surgery, the area located by the needle was removed, but the surgeon didnt feel it was the correct area, so searched by feel, and found the lump, which was determined to be stage 1 ductal carcinoma. I am so thankful that she searched. I decided a double mastectomy is the right choice for me, and have been worried about the dye injection since the nipple is so sentative. I think it'll be ok, I am scheduled for this coming Tuesday. I just want it to be done. The unknown about the sentinal node is weighing on my mind. Thanks to all.

youngnana's picture
youngnana
Posts: 41
Joined: Mar 2010

I'll be thinking of you on Tuesday, knowing you are right there with me....Wishing you blessings, and all the best.

aisling8's picture
aisling8
Posts: 1328
Joined: Feb 2010

I wrote you a long reply under the "book recommendations" thread. I hope you read it. Please don't be scared. None of this hurt. It just didn't.

Good luck,
Victoria

Mama G
Posts: 764
Joined: Nov 2009

Did you have a numbing shot first? Mine was the worst pain I've ever experienced in my life, and that includes 4 llloonnnggg and natural childbirths. I had nightmares about it for weeks. I can still cry when I think about that horrendous pain I had to endure!!!
Somebody explain, please! The man that injected me told me it would be the most pain I've ever had in my life and he was right, so I know it's not just me. NO numbing at all. 4 horrible injections around my nipple. What the heck?

ms_independent's picture
ms_independent
Posts: 216
Joined: Nov 2009

I heard this from a breast surgeon...apparently the "dye" can/should be mixed with lidocaine and given slowly so the numbing starts working before much is injected. It is extremely painful if not mixed with a numbing agent. My sister had the same reaction that you had "worse than her c-section and natural birth combined" said she literally screamed as it was injected. And she has the highest pain tolerance of anyone I have ever met. My injections were no picnic either. Very painful. They said that the stuff was mixed with lidocaine so it wouldn't hurt---NOT! Anyway, lidocaine didn't work well for any of my biopsies so I guess it's no surprise it didn't work with the sentinal node injections.
It's terrible that your radiologist didn't do what he could to make it easier for you. I bet if he had to inject his privates with that stuff he would do a little research and make it easier on himself. The definition of malpractice is to do or not do something that your professional peers do (or don't do). That sort of sounds like what happened to you.
So,sorry you had to go through that and that it haunts you.
Hugs, El

Mama G
Posts: 764
Joined: Nov 2009

I would have loved to inject him in his privates at that moment. Anyways at least I had the process changed at that hospital. I complained enough that they made it part of their procedure to numb the area before the inject the dye.

ms_independent's picture
ms_independent
Posts: 216
Joined: Nov 2009

I just love that you got the process changed! I've worked in hospitals and know how difficult it is to change anything!
El

svillalobos01
Posts: 17
Joined: Mar 2010

Yes, so far, after a bilateral mastectomy, breasts and nipples reconstruction and chemo, this is the worst procedure I have had to put up with. It is so fast though you can not even explain it. They put some numbing cream around my nipple but i don't think that thing did a bit for me, when the dye was going through my body, it hurt like hell! Anyway, it's over and now I am so happy that my life is starting to be back to normal again. Good luck to all of you out there. As many other commented, it may not hurt all the time it is done, it might have to do with who does it.

GayleMc
Posts: 311
Joined: Jan 2010

I also thought the injection was painful. I got through it as we all do, but have to admit it was the only procedure that brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad everyone does not have the same experience. I guess I was surprised also as my doc had gottem me through everything up to that point with very little discomfort and has since. I still don't want to scare anyone and, kudos to you gals who spoke up!!!! I didn't have anyone tell me it might be painful, so I wasn't at all prepared. Maybe that was the problem.

mimivac's picture
mimivac
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

The doctor who did my shots said that some may hurt and some not. He was right. Two of them felt like nothing and two hurt like hell. Very strange. I don't know what kind of numbing agent was given. So sorry for those who had pain. I completely understand.

Mimi

Cairmaid's picture
Cairmaid
Posts: 64
Joined: Feb 2010

I'm just wondering if everybody is comparing the same procedure. There's the radioactive (clear liquid) tracer and the blue dye. A couple of hours before my lumpectomy, I had the clear liquid injected in 4 places around my tumor, and it stung pretty badly, but I wouldn't say it was the worst pain ever. Then again, my lump was about 4 finger-widths up from my nipple. Maybe that has something to do with how much pain is felt. The radiologist told me they don't do numbing injections, since (and I agreed) it didn't make sense to poke you 4 times just so you don't feel 4 other pokes. He also said the liquid was only water and the pain was from the fluid expanding the breast tissue. I remember the lidocaine from my biopsy...the radioactive tracer injections were less painful.

I had the blue dye injection while I was "under" for my surgery, so I didn't feel a thing there :-)

NAN033's picture
NAN033
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2010

I agree with Mama G It was worse than natural child birth. But its Done now! Praying never to do that again !!! Thinking Arimidex for 5 years now.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4529
Joined: Aug 2009

I cheated and put emla cream on. the radioactive tracer I heard, is more painful but my surgeon had someone react badly to the dye so doesnt use it. So I applied the emla and it didnt hurt too bad.

KayNYC's picture
KayNYC
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 2010

It was painful but thankfully, it didn't last long.They explained that the lidocaine would require more injections and not be effective. I wish I had taken an analgesic before I left for the hospital. Thank God for that sweet tech who offered her hand to be squeezed if I need to and I did. She was so sweet and compassionate. Unfortunately, there was trouble locating the sentinel node and it took close to a half hour of massaging to get three of the four films showing the node. It seems my test was scheduled for change of shift and I was left alone after the sweet tech left, waiting for someone to do the markings while I lay flat on my back with the camera hanging over me so I couldn't move. I really had to close my eyes and use imagery to cope with the discomfort of being in such a ackward position and alone for such a long time. I am so glad it is over. Surgery is scheduled for 9:15 tomorrow and 7:15 AM for placement of the locator wire etc.Thank you for all the good information and suggestions from those that have gone through this experience before me.
K

Mama G
Posts: 764
Joined: Nov 2009

It seems we may have 2 different injections going on here. I'm not believing that what I had to put up with ANYONE on earth could say it wasn't bad. No way. My sister had it done while she was under right before her surgery, her doctor saying he would never put anyone through that pain. go figure...

aisling8's picture
aisling8
Posts: 1328
Joined: Feb 2010

two different things that we're talking about. It doesn't matter. I'm so sorry to read about some of your worst pain imaginables. And you go, MamaG, changing hospital policy. Good on you.

KayNYC, I'll be home tomorrow morning thinking about you. I'm almost afraid to say it, but the wire locator thing didn't hurt either. Nor did the lumpectomy. And even if we have two different experiences, still doesn't matter cause you know why?? It will be OVER WITH.

My best wishes for as easy a day possible,

Victoria

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4529
Joined: Aug 2009

yes there are two different ways to check the sentinal node. radioactive tracer and the dye. I had the radioactive, I swear it wasnt too bad, because I applied emla.

KayNYC's picture
KayNYC
Posts: 495
Joined: Mar 2010

I agree that neither were bad experiences. I only needed one Vicodan last night at bedtime. My surgery was completed by noon yesterday. They excised 4 nodes but the path done in OR came out clean. Now waiting final path results and follow up with surgeon. She will be referring me to Medical Oncologist.
K

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4529
Joined: Aug 2009

glad that the lumpetomy went well and the path was good. excellent news.

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