Intraoperative Lymphatic Mapping

Lymphatic mapping is a procedure designed to guide lymph node dissection and biopsy procedures. It consists of Intraoperative Lymphatic Mapping (ILM) often accompanied by lymphoscintigraphy. Lymphoscintigraphy is an imaging procedure routinely performed pre-operatively to provide guidance on the location of lymph nodes to be biopsied. ILM is a surgical procedure in which lymph nodes draining the area around a tumor are identified and biopsied to determine if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. These nodes, commonly referred to as “Sentinel Lymph Nodes,” are removed and analyzed for the presence of malignant cells.


Kaleya RN, Heckman JT, Most M, Zager JS. Lymphatic mapping  and sentinel node biopsy: a surgical perspective.  Semin Nucl Med. 2005; 35:129–34.

Kelley, et al., “Lymphatic mapping and sentinel lymphadenectomy for breast cancer”, The American Journal of Surgery, The American Journal of Surgery, 2004 188:50.