Lymphoscintigraphy for Breast or Melanoma

Lymphoscinitigraphy is a test that uses a radioactive substance (or tracer) to document directions of lymphatic drainage from a primary site of breast cancer or melanoma.

Specifically, it is used to identify and mark (if possible) the sentinel lymph node, the first node in a chain that is closest to the primary cancer site.

Before Your Procedure

  • Tell your physician if you are pregnant or nursing.
  • No special preparation is necessary for this test.

During Your Procedure

  • A radiologist will make 4 small injections in the skin of either the affected breast or around the site of the melanoma.
  • Following the injections, imaging will begin in approximately 15-30 minutes. A variety of images will be acquired in order to get the best visualization of the lymph nodes.
  • A mark may be made on the skin with a pen to help identify any visualized lymph nodes.
  • The entire procedure lasts approximately 1-2 hours.

After Your Procedure

  • Your doctor will be contacted with the results of your test and will discuss the results with you.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

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

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO