Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...
Webinar: Corrective Breast Reconstruction: Getting the Results You Want Join us July 9, 2024 at 6pm ET. Register here.

Node Testing for Contralateral Prophylactic Mastectomy?


Hello! I am so grateful this board exists!

I (48 yrs old) was just diagnosed with high grade, ER+/PR+ DCIS in my left breast (by mammogram and a stereotactic biopsy.)

In hopes of avoiding radiation and hormone therapy, and for symmetry, I am wanting to do a bilateral mastectomy with aesthetic flat closure.

I was told my surgeon would do a Sentinel Node Biopsy on the left side, in case invasive cancer was found during the surgery.

But what about the nodes on the right side? Should I have a Sentinel Node Biopsy on that side as well in case invasive cancer is found in the right breast after surgery?

I have heterogeneously dense breast tissue and am worried that there could be undetected cancer in the right breast. I would rather have a proactive Sentinel Node Biopsy than have to go back for an Axillary Lymph Node Dissection if it could have been avoided.

Or would an MRI of my right breast be an option to help determine whether a Sentinel Node Biopsy is needed?

Thank you in advance for any guidance!


  • everythingwillbefine

    I think mri on both sides before surgery is normally done

    and that imaging is pretty accurate so if mri on your right side does not show anything suspicious then your right side is clean 99%

    they normally do not biopsy the lymph nodes on the preventative side.

    good luck and you will be fine!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,183

    @morchella, Everythingwillbefine is correct, during a prophylactic (preventative) mastectomy, the nodes are not taken for testing.

    Read more about lymph node removal here.

    When is your surgery scheduled for? We're here to support you!

    —The Mods

  • maggiehopley
    maggiehopley Member Posts: 116

    I also elected a bilateral mastectomy with flat closure for symmetry. My surgeon ordered a pre-surgical MRI, and something suspicious was found in my non-cancer breast. I had an MRI guided biopsy and it was benign PASH. They did not do a sentinal lymph node biopsy on that side when I had my surgery.