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All TopicsForum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) → Topic: Sentinel node injections before surgery

Topic: Sentinel node injections before surgery

Forum: IDC (Invasive Ductal Carcinoma) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for IDC.

Posted on: Oct 6, 2012 09:20PM, edited Dec 14, 2012 09:45AM by 0000

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Oct 6, 2012 09:43PM SpecialK wrote:

I am sure that you have read some posts that this was painful, but my experience with a double SNB for a double MX was a short-lived sting with each injection, really no big deal.  Mine were given at clock hands - 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock -  at the edge of the areola.  It was done in the pre-op area prior to surgery.  I hope this is a non-issue for you and I wish you luck!

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. Twelve additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3
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Oct 6, 2012 09:57PM bevin wrote:

HI there, I have a similar experience to specialK, Mine were injected around the areola as well. I didnt really experience any pain except the little needle going in - similar to a blood draw.

I will share my SNB are hurt more post surgery than the lumpectomy- even with the amount of tissue removed. The doctor explained this is because they dig around in the muscle to find the nodes and this hurts, where as the breast tissue is not muscle.

I felt overall the surgery was easy and I was out walking 3 miles a day 3 days later.

Good luck to you. I hope everything goes well. If you can, ask for an ativan for the morning of before they put you under.  They gave this to me and it really took away the nerves.

Age 45, Oncotype 11, Primary Tumor 2.1 cm, smaller satellite tumor nearby Dx 8/8/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/9/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Radiation Therapy 10/9/2010
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Oct 6, 2012 10:10PM , edited Dec 14, 2012 09:45AM by 0000

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Oct 6, 2012 10:19PM Omaz wrote:

doxielover - If I remember correctly they did a little numbing injection near the nipple and then injected the tracer.  A pinch for the numbing injection and I don't remember feeling the tracer injection.  Hope yours goes smoothly.  Best wishes.
Dx 6/21/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 6, 2012 10:19PM kayb wrote:

I honestly don't remember anything more than a slight sting. The radiologist who had done my biopsies did the SNB injections. I remember talking to her and my favorite tech but I dont recall any pain to speak of. I had SNB on both breasts, too. I didn't take anything before surgery, but Ativan is a great idea.

DX May/2010, synchronous bilateral cancer, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Oct 6, 2012 10:20PM New-girl wrote:

I hope yours goes well.  Mine did not.  I still have nightmares over the pain.  I did great with all my biopsies with not a complaint.  I am not saying they did not hurt but nothing more than a pain and then relief when it was over.  The SNB was very different.  I would personally never ever consider letting anyone go through it without pain medication.  Nothing ever in my life has compared pain wise.  And I still remember it like it was yesterday.

Dx 1/19/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, ILC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/12/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 7/25/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 12/13/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction
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Oct 6, 2012 10:33PM foreverchanged wrote:

It was very painful but for only a few minutes in my experience in July 2012, would certainly ask about receiving pain med or numbing agent beforehand.   Hope you have a better experience!

Dx 5/31/2012, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 2, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 5/31/2012, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 7/18/2012 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 10/21/2012 Surgery 1/3/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 8/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 9/2/2013 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 4/3/2014 Reconstruction (right)
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Oct 6, 2012 10:47PM Joanne_53 wrote:

My injection stung but not for long. The surgeon put the needle close to the lump to the dye would travel from there. It was a temporary sting. Good luck with your surgery ... You will be fine.

Joanne - Onco DX score 12 Dx 12/8/2011, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/10/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Hormonal Therapy 4/8/2012 Radiation Therapy 4/9/2012
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Oct 6, 2012 11:46PM cat24 wrote:

I think I got five or six injections.  I don't remember being given anything to numb the area.  For some reason, this part of the whole experience makes me the saddest.  Can't really explain why, it just sticks in my mind.  I think at that time it just really sunk in that I was going to lose my breast.  Just a momentary set back, then I was fine.

And call it an angel, call it a muse And call it karma that you've got comin' to you What's the difference? What's in a name? What matters most is never ever losin' faith 'Cause it's gonna be alright, you're not alone tonight Dx 12/2/2011, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/2/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap Hormonal Therapy 1/19/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 10/10/2012, DCIS, Stage 0 Surgery 11/14/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/11/2013 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 7/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Oct 7, 2012 12:00AM cat24 wrote:

To clarify, I did not have IDC, but did have sentinal node biopsy because of high grade DCIS.  I didn't mean to sound so down about the experience, but it does stick in my mind.

And call it an angel, call it a muse And call it karma that you've got comin' to you What's the difference? What's in a name? What matters most is never ever losin' faith 'Cause it's gonna be alright, you're not alone tonight Dx 12/2/2011, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 1/2/2012 Mastectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap Hormonal Therapy 1/19/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole), Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 10/10/2012, DCIS, Stage 0 Surgery 11/14/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap, Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/11/2013 Reconstruction (left) Surgery 7/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Oct 7, 2012 12:10AM Lou10 wrote:

I don't remember the injection being particularly sore, nor do I remember any topical anesthetic being used. But I was worried about being late checking in for my surgery -- I had to have the dye injected at one hospital then go to another, so that stress probably distracted me.

Diagnosis: 12/15/2010, IDC (plus DCIS & ILC), 2.5cm IDC, Stage IIb or III (unknown -- radiation to lymph nodes instead of ALND surgery), Grade 2, 2/2 nodes (sentinel and intramammary fully involved with extracapsular extension), ER+++/PR+++, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Chemotherapy 4/13/2011 Cytoxan, Ellence, Fluorouracil, Taxotere Radiation Therapy 9/14/2011 Hormonal Therapy 11/7/2011 Hormonal Therapy 8/22/2012 Femara Hormonal Therapy 7/10/2013 Aromasin Hormonal Therapy 7/12/2014 Femara
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Oct 7, 2012 12:24AM hbcheryl wrote:

I did not feel any pain or discomfort at all, two of my friends were with me and one asked "did you not feel that" it was just like a tiny stick I didn't have any numbing cream but you can ask for some, the one thing no one told me was afterwards you pee and poop blue!!!

Dx 7/25/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 7, 2012 12:59AM KellieDenise66 wrote:

I had mine 3 hrs prior to my BMX on 9-24. I too feared it would be painful. Ended up being a quick sting, and nothing more. I was asked to massage my breast for 15 minutes after the injection, and before the scan. Similar to what cat24 expressed, there was sadness. That 15 minutes alone massaging my breast was like a last goodbye.

I have no idea why some women suffered through the procedure. Not certain if there are different techniques, or circumstances? My heart goes out to you gals who had bad experiences.

I'd talk to your doctor about it prior to your surgery for peace of mind.

Dx 7/30/2012, DCIS, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 3/13/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Oct 7, 2012 03:52AM Jennie93 wrote:

My surgery was a month ago.  I had not found this place yet, and none of the docs or the surgeon gave me any details on what was going to happen.  They sent me to a different part of the hospital for the injection for the SNB.  All I had been told was that they inject a little bit of radioactive tracer into the tumor about an hour before surgery so they can find which lymph nodes it drains into.  Makes sense.  I had no apprehension about the process until I got there, and the doc that was going to inject it was all apologetic, warning me that it was painful, he was sorry, it couldn't be helped, etc. - then I was a little nervous!  But it wasn't that bad.  He said most women compare it to a bad bee sting.  I'd say that's about right.  It did sting, but not unbearably, and not for very long.  And they were very nice about the whole thing.  I figured, if it's something I can do to have the minimum possible number of lymph nodes removed, a little brief pain is all right by me.

49 at dx. Found on routine mammogram. Complications: cording, truncal LE. UMX 9/2012; TCx6 10/2012-1/2013; rads 3-5/2013; tamoxifen 5/2013-1/2015; anastrozole 2/2015-on. Dx 8/2012, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 4/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/5/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Lymph node removal Chemotherapy 10/15/2012 Cytoxan, Taxotere Radiation Therapy 3/24/2013 Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2013 Tamoxifen pills Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2015 Arimidex
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Oct 7, 2012 06:24PM Blessings2011 wrote:

doxielover - I had my BMX on Decemer 5, 2011. I checked into the hospital at 8, and at 9 was down in Radiology getting my radioactive isotope injection for my SNB. (This is not the same thing as the "blue dye" injection.) The SNB would be done through my MX incisions during the mastectomy.

I remember reading all the horror stories here on BCO, but I also had to remember to keep things in perspective.

A few years ago, I let my podiatrist give me a cortisone shot in the bottom of my heel. On a pain scale of 1 - 10, it was a 100. Seriously. So that became my "worst ever", and no other shot ever came close.

So we joked about that in Radiology, and I swear, both the Radiologist and the Technician were trying SO hard to make me comfortable. "Just do it!" I said. No pain meds, no numbing cream.

It did sting. But that's all. He must have injected a few areas, because it did take a few seconds. But I think I've had bee stings that were worse. And when it was over, it was over.

Then they sent me up to Pre-Op, with the instructions to keep massaging the breast, as this would help the radioactive material move along into the lymph nodes.

So there I was, sitting in my bed in Pre-Op, happily massaging my left breast, when I looked up and realized my all my curtains were pulled back. Everyone could look in and see me rubbing away. I could only hope that they thought that breast massage was some sort of self-calming technique!!! Wink

Wishing you the best with your surgery!!!

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/4/2011 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2012 Arimidex Hormonal Therapy 10/21/2013 Femara
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Oct 7, 2012 06:47PM Beatmon wrote:

Hi, hope your injection goes as well as mine. I was more nervous about the injection than the surgery. I had visions of a large needle and a large amount of dye to be injected. I asked for the area to be numbed. The person injecting said "you will be fine. We don't numb". I twas a 28 g needle which is tiny. I barely even felt the injection. Hopefully your experience will be as good as mine. No massage was mentioned to me. Good luck.

Dx 7/27/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Surgery 8/9/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Left Surgery 12/1/2013 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 7/1/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 8/9/2014, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Perjeta Targeted Therapy 8/27/2014 Herceptin Chemotherapy 8/27/2014 Taxotere
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Oct 7, 2012 06:59PM NYBubbles wrote:

Mine was a total non event.  The worst was the waiting beforehand, the filling in of forms and then hanging around for the photography!

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Oct 8, 2012 01:24AM anamerty wrote:

I had it done at the nuclear medicine dept Aug 27th it was not painful at all they freeze you inject the dye then have you massage so that the die spreads around then they take a scan you take this to the hospital

Surgery 1/24/1999 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm, Left Dx 1/25/1999, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 2/28/1999 Dx 8/3/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 8/3/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 8/26/2012 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Right Chemotherapy 10/14/2012 Cytoxan, Taxotere
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Oct 8, 2012 10:40PM , edited Oct 8, 2012 10:44PM by curveball

I had SNB injection and node mapping the afternoon before my MX. I was given a local anaesthetic, then the tracer injection at several spots around the areola. I felt nothing on most of the tracer injections, but in one case I guess the tracer went outside the numbed area, because I felt a stinging sensation, but only for a minute or so. I've only been stung once, by a yellowjacket. That was years ago, but I think being stung by the yellowjacket was more painful, and the pain was longer lasting, than the SNB injection.

I wasn't told to massage my breast after the injection. I was scanned, then marks were made on my skin, but these marks were on the front of my breast, but the sentinel nodes removed were in my armpit area. I am still puzzled about exactly how the scanning, marking, and surgeon knowing which nodes to remove all fits together. The "blue dye" was not injected until after I was in the OR and under anaesthetic.

I had areola-sparing surgery, and I don't remember the tracer injection area being any sorer after surgery than other parts of the surgery site. But I was scared to touch any of my chest on the cancer side for probably two weeks or maybe more, following surgery. I think I expected it to be extra-sensitive, like the skin on the very tips of your finger when you break a nail off short. After a few weeks I could tell it was all healing up and no longer expected it to hurt if I touched it.

Oncotype score 28--Age 56 at initial DX--mets found at 57 (but I suspect they were there from the start)--mixed IDC & carcenoid (neuroendocrine) tumor. Octreotide (a carcenoid treatment) June-Sept 2013, failed. Dx 3/23/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 1/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 7/18/2012 CMF Hormonal Therapy 1/10/2013 Arimidex Dx 2/26/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 1/13 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 6/3/2013 Aromasin Chemotherapy 10/30/2013 Taxol Chemotherapy 1/22/2014 Doxil Hormonal Therapy 4/7/2014