Sentinel lymph node biopsy versus axillary lymphadenectomy in patients treated with lumpectomy: An analysis of short-term outcomes

Nima Khavanin, Michael S. Gart, Tiffany Berry, Brian Thornton, Sujata Saha, John Y.S. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has been shown to reduce many of the long-term complications associated with a traditional axillary lymph node dissection (ALND); however, short-term outcomes have yet to be characterized. This study was designed to identify trends and differences in 30-day outcomes of partial mastectomy with concurrent SLNB or complete ALND to more effectively determine which patients may be at risk for perioperative complications. Methods: A retrospective review of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database from 2010 to 2011 was performed to identify all female patients undergoing partial mastectomy with concurrent ALND or SLNB. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the relationship between surgical management of the axilla and 30-day complications and readmissions. Results: Of the 6,841 patients identified, 1,877 (27.4 %) received a complete ALND. Overall, the ALND cohort demonstrated significantly more readmissions and reoperations, as well as longer operative times and fewer outpatient procedures. No difference was detected in postoperative complications between the two groups. However, after adjusting for potential confounders, ALND did not predict increased risk of 30-day morbidity or unplanned 30-day readmission compared with SLNB in patients undergoing partial mastectomy. Conclusions: After adjusting for potential confounders, ALND does not significantly increase the risk of 30-day postoperative overall morbidity or readmission compared with SLNB. Improvement of postoperative outcomes should focus on management of high-risk patients and perioperative complications regardless of surgical management of the axilla.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of surgical oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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