Sentinel Lymph Nodes (SLN) Scintigraphy

Method

 

Supervision of a scintigraphy by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

Supervision of a scintigraphy
by a nuclear medicine technician (MTRA)

During imaging of the sentinel lymph node, the radioactive tracer is injected close to the tumour. It is transported via the lymph channels to the lymph node, where it accumulates and is thus visualized.

The radiation produced (gamma rays) has low strength but a wide range. This means it can be visualized outside the body as an image or series of images using a special device (gamma camera).

This type of scintigraphy causes an exposure to radiation equivalent to a person’s natural annual exposure. As all nuclear medical procedures involve such exposure – albeit only slight – to radiation, they can only be carried out when the patient is not pregnant.

 

Preparation

 

Please bring with you:

  • Documentation of the exact site, dimensions and nature of the tumour. This is very important for the assessment of the examination!
  • Where available, existing examination results (imaging, clinical examinations, surgical or hospital discharge reports, lab test results)
  • A towel

Procedure

 

Prior to the examination you will be questioned about the medical history of your illness to date and your present symptoms. The doctor will also check whether there is a justifiable indication for the examination, i.e. whether a sentinel lymph node scintigraphy is medically useful and necessary.

The low-level radioactive medication (radiotracer) will be injected directly into the vicinity of the tumour. Subsequently, this area will be gently massaged and warmed using a heat pad.

Data recording can begin after circa 10 minutes. During the examination you will be lying comfortably – usually on your back – on the examination table. Please follow instructions exactly, as they are very important for the quality of the image.

The recording time will be approx. 30 minutes. Usually, you will be able to leave our practice immediately after the examination.

A detailed report with the results of the examination will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us on the day of the examination.