I had my lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy on March 3rd, 2006. I went ino the hospital at 7:30am thinking that they just had to take me in for the surgery but I was misinformed. They took me to have a guide wire placed in my breast that would lead the surgeon to the exact area that needed to come out. The involves the use of ultrasound that helps guide the wire into the proper place. They use lidocaine to numb the area but it still hurt like hell. After that was over I had to wait for nuclear medicine to call me down. When they called I had to have 5 small injections of a radioactive dye into the breast that enables the surgeon to detect which lymph nodes have to come out. I wasnt to happy about that but went along with it. The needles they used are very small and pinched a little but its the dye itself that burns when its being injected. After waiting an hour after the injections were done I had a series of gamma photographs to see which noded picked up the dye. In the OR the surgeon also has a geiger counter to measure the radiation the nodes are emitting so they know which ones to remove also.
I finally went into surgery at 1pm and had the 2 tumors removed along with 15 lymph nodes. I stayed in the hospital overnight so I could rest with the proper pain medications and because I would be better off there than home with my 2 kids. I went home the next day with some pain, mostly under my arm where the lymph nodes were removed. The pathology report would be in on Wednesday Mar 8th of the following week.