Sentinel lymph node biopsy for head and neck malignancies utilizing simultaneous radioisotope gamma probe and indocyanine green fluorescence navigation.

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We depict an innovative surgical approach for sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) in head and neck malignancies that utilizes both near-infrared (NIR) imaging with indocyanine green (ICG) dye and hand-held gamma probe intraoperatively to isolate and excise SLNs. Twenty-one patients presented to our institution with cutaneous melanoma, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and oral cavity SCC tumors that met criteria for SLNB based on tumor depth and histology. The video offers a step-by-step approach for this technique along with descriptions of recommended equipment. Among 21 patients, two patients had positive SLNs on final pathology. One patient developed a local recurrence over an average of 16.2 months of follow-up (SD = 15.6). SLNB with ICG and radionucleotide co-localization may enhance the identification of sentinel nodes without compromising outcomes in the hands of surgeons well-versed in the technique.


This article was published in Head and Neck, Volume 46, Issue 1, pages 212-217.

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Head & Neck

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