Lymphoscintigraphy for Breast or Melanoma

What Is Lymphoscintigraphy?

Lymphoscintigraphy is a test that uses a radioactive tracer to follow lymphatic drainage from a primary site of breast cancer or melanoma. It determines the sentinel node, the first lymph node in the chain closest to the primary cancer site.

Before the Exam

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. For the best experience please properly prepare for your appointment:

  • Inform your doctor if you could be pregnant or are nursing.
  • No special preparation is required. If you are having surgery the same day, follow those instructions.
  • Do not bring children with you to your appointment. For their safety children are not allowed to accompany you in the exam room. Staff are unable to monitor children.

During the Exam

A team of technologists and a radiologist will explain and perform the exam.

  • Radiologist cleans the skin and injects the radio tracer 2-4 times in area appropriate for the site of cancer.
  • Technologists take images about 15-30 minutes after the injection.
  • If you have same day surgery, images may not be required, and a tracer tool is used during surgery.
  • Total appointment time is variable and may take up to 2 hours.

After the Exam

  • You may resume your normal activities.
  • Increase your fluid intake unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • If you have surgery on the same day, follow those care instructions.
  • The radioactive tracer used for this test is Tc99m Lymphoseek.
  • A radiologist is a doctor who reads your exam. They will get results to your ordering provider within 5 business days. Your ordering clinic will provide you with the results.
Follow-up care is a key part of your health. Be sure to make and go to all appointments and call your primary care provider if you have questions.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

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