number of lymphnodes removed

SweetSue Member Posts: 217
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Typically, how many lymphnodes are removed during a mastectomy, when there is no cancer in the lymph nodes and the sentinel node procedure was done? not sure if I asked that correctly, but here it goes.


  • tlmac
    tlmac Member Posts: 272 Member
    If the sentinel node was negative, they will not need to remove any additional lymph nodes during the mastectomy. Level 1 nodes are only removed if the sentinel node is positive for cancer or if an axillary node dissection is done instead of the newer sentinel node procedure. The number of level 1 nodes varies from person to person. I had 13, all negative, because sentinel node procedure wasn't available in my area at the time of my surgery but a friend only had 9 removed. Doctors go deeper into the armpit, to level 2 or even 3 if all level 1 or 2 nodes are positive for cancer. Hope this answers your question.
    ps Great news that the sentinel node was negative!!
  • rutaf
    rutaf Member Posts: 23
    I did not have the sentinel node procedure. One node was suspected by the Dr. of having cancer. She was right. She took sixteen to test and one had cancer. Onward to continued good reports. Hope your's are also.
  • seeknpeace
    seeknpeace Member Posts: 259

    I had the sentinel node biopsy and had four removed. He removed three that were fed from the tumor area and one that looked funny to him. None had cancer. We are so lucky to have that procedure instead of the way they used to do it, taking the whole shooting match and leaving you in pretty poor shape. I have a friend who had the whole thing taken from under both arms and she has lymphademia in both arms to the point that she is legally disabled.

    We are lucky.