The aim of this study was to compare a delayed sentinel node biopsy (dSNB) procedure with a same-day procedure (sSNB) in malignant melanoma. In March 2012, Aarhus University Hospital went from the dSNB to the sSNB procedure defined by lymphoscintigraphy (LS) and sentinel node biopsy (SNB) performed on the same day. Before that time, LS was performed 24 hours prior to SNB. The aim was to investigate whether differences between the two procedures exist. Patients who underwent the SNB procedure between April and July 2011 and 2012, respectively, were included in the study. The criteria for SNB were malignant melanoma thickness >1 mm, Clark level IV/V, and ulcus or unknown thickness of the melanoma. All patients underwent re-excision and SNB at the same time. Pathological evaluation was not changed in the observation periods; however, the LS procedures varied. Only a minor turnover among the surgeons was observed. One hundred and eight patients were included in the study, 59 (dSNB) from 2011 and 49 (sSNB) from 2012, respectively. A median of 2.17 (dSNB) and 2.31 (sSNB) SLNs were removed, with no statistical differences. No difference in node positivity rates was observed. However, the number of hospitalisation days differed significantly, with 1.94 days in dSNB and 0.49 days in sSNB. Rates of complications at the site of the SNB procedure were similar. No differences in disease-free survival (DFS) or overall survival (OS) were recorded. SNB does not increase the overall survival. It is, therefore, essential to keep the morbidity and economic costs low, while keeping the quality of the procedure high.
Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery, 2013, Vol 48, Issue 4, p. 265-9
Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Disease-Free Survival; Female; Humans; Lymphoscintigraphy; Male; Melanoma; Middle Aged; Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy; Skin Neoplasms; Time Factors; Young Adult