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Extranodal Extension

Extranodal Extension

December 14, 2021
Everett Bonner, MD
Everett Bonner, MD

Breast Surgery

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Women during their surgery may need complete removal of the axillary lymph nodes on the side of the cancer. Usually, those indications, if they’re clinically positive, or if you have matted or grossly suspicious lymph nodes or, during your sentinal biopsy, we find multiple lymph nodes that are positive with disease, one of the things we look at is the extra nodal extension. What that means is, has the disease got into the lymph node and is starting to spread outside the lymph node in the surrounding tissues. Those are the patients that really need what we call an axillary lymph node dissection, which is removal of the lymph nodes that drain the breast and lymph nodes that are in the underarm.