Uncomfortable with procedure?

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Question from Maria: My surgeon wants to do a full lymph node dissection. I want the sentinel lymph node procedure. Why should I lose all my lymph nodes if I don't have to? Should I switch surgeons?
Answers - Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. Without knowing the details of your case, it is hard to know whether the sentinel node procedure is appropriate for you. There are some patients for whom we do not recommend the sentinel node procedure. Again, letting your surgeon know that you view this issue as a 'mismatch' may help clear the air. It is important to know that the success of the sentinel node procedure (correct identification of the sentinel node) is related to the surgeon's comfort level and experience with the procedure. Your surgeon may be more confident with a full node dissection.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called The Doctor-Patient Relationship featured Jennifer Griggs, M.D., M.P.H. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how to find the right doctor for you, and how to create and maintain a good, open relationship with your doctor so you can be sure to get all the care and information you need.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2003.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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