Axillary node dissection

Axillary node dissection

The aim of this “classic” method is to remove the lymph nodes that lie lowest in the armpit and which are the first ones to drain the breast.

The surgeon makes an incision into the skin of the armpit. The surgeon can make a separate incision or continue the breast incision if it’s close to the armpit. Then the surgeon dissects the vessels and the nerves and removes around 10 lymph nodes that are subsequently analyzed by an anatomopathologist.

This treatment is sometimes responsible for pain in the shoulder and/or the inner part of the arm that however decreases progressively. It may also limit upper limb movement (which explains the need for a postoperative physiotherapy).

Later, in rare cases the arm may also swell (also known as large arm or lymphedema).


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