Partial axillary dissection in early breast cancer
AbstractBackground: In order to reduce the probability of later clinical involvement of the axilla and at establishing a sound basis for adjuvant treatment planning axillary dissection is an important operative procedure. So, partial axillary dissection has been applied to decrease the morbidity and
postoperative axillary complications. Aim of the work was to study the reliability of partial axillary lymph node dissection in patients with breast carcinoma with clinically negative axilla.
Methods: Eighteen patients underwent modified radical mastectomy, while the other two patients who were fulfilling the criteria for conservative breast surgery underwent lumpectomy. All patients did complete axillary lymph nodes dissection. Intraoperative leveling of the axilla was performed
and level I axillary lymph nodes were identified according to their relation to pectoralis minor muscle; then they were subjected to intraoperative pathological examination by frozen section examination followed by complete axillary clearance. Then post operative histopathological examination of the tumor and all lymph nodes was done.
Results: By intraoperative pathological examination; five patients (25%) were found positive for malignant invasion, while 15 patients (75%) were pathologically free. While paraffin section showed six patients (30%) with malignant invasion, and 14 patients (70%) were pathologically free. There was a false negative rate of 5% in level I axillary lymph nodes by intraoperative pathological examination which was positive for metastasis by paraffin section that revealed microinvasion in one lymph node out of 8 in level I. Only two cases out of 20 were found positive for metastasis in level II and III.
Conclusion: Partial axillary lymph node dissection is a minimally invasive, feasible and sufficient technique that can predict the axillary lymph node status.