Introduction/Background Axillary surgery is essential in the management of early breast cancer. Conservative procedures like sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) are less invasive than the traditional axillary dissection. However, some extent of ipsilateral upper limb dysfunction might still occur. The aim of this systematic review was to describe the incidence of lymphedema, pain, sensory, and motor disorders after SLNB in women with breast cancer.
Methodology We conducted a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. The search was performed on Pubmed, EMBASE, CINAHAL, and Web of Science. The search was based on the following concepts: breast cancer, sentinel lymph node biopsy, axillary dissection, upper limb complications. The risk of bias was evaluated using the Cochrane Rob 2.0 toll.
Conclusion SLNB is associated with postoperative complications that persist up to at least two years after the surgical procedure. The burden of complications, although lower when compared to axillary dissection, should not be ignored.
Disclosures The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.
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