The sentinel node is the first node of spread for a cancer.
The sentinel node is a newer method used to treat ear stage oral cavity cancers. Instead of performing a full neck dissection, the surgery is limited to removing a single node based on the pathway of travel from the oral cavity tumor to the neck.
- A biopsy and imaging are completed to stage the cancer.
- Medical clearance obtained.
Day of Surgery
- Arrive at Hospital
- Injection of a dye used to identify setinel node.
- Spend 30 minutes to 2 hours obtaining images to capture spread of dye (while awake).
- Once sentinel node is identified, patient is brought back to per-operative holding area.
- General anesthesia administered.
- Surgery performed to remove tumor in mouth and sentinel lymph node.
- Patient goes home same day or spends 1 night in the hospital.
- Recovery quickly at home.
- Pathology results determines next course of action. Discuss with your surgeon.