What is lymphatic imaging?
Lymphatic Imaging is done to locate lymph nodes.
What should I do to prepare for my exam?
There is no special preparation for this study.
What will happen during lymphatic imaging and how will I get my results?
Sentinel Node Mapping:
The patient will be injected four times subcutaneously (under the skin) with a small amount of radioactive tracer. These injections will be around the excision site in the case of a melanoma, or around the nipple in the case of a breast surgery.
One hour later, images will be obtained, two images at five minutes each. The purpose of this is to help the surgeon locate the sentinel node. The surgeon will be using a specialized radiation detection probe to locate the specific node that has the material that was injected. This node will be sent to pathology for immediate analysis. Melanoma studies may be ordered before surgery so that the surgeon will know where to look for the lymph nodes.
This is done mainly for edema. The patient in injected in the toes or fingers, and one hour later images are taken. In this situation, the lymphatics are followed up the limbs to see if there is a blockage in the lymphatic system that is causing the swelling. Five to ten minute pictures are taken. There may be as many as five sets of images. Imaging may take one hour.
The physician who interprets the scan will send a report to your physician, who will then share the results with you.
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