Aims: The purpose of our study was to determine the radiation dose for those who are involved in the sentinel node procedure in breast cancer patients and testing of a theoretical model.
Methods: We studied 12 consecutive breast cancer patients undergoing breast surgery, and a sentinel node dissection including an axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). We performed measurements on the surgeon, the assistant, the theatre nurse, the pathologist and his assistant.
Results: The measurements on the theatre nurse and both pathologist as his assistant are beneath the detection limit of 10 micro Sv. The highest measured doses are the hands of the surgeon and his assistant (17-61 micro Sv), however the dose limits for hands are higher than for other parts of the body. Taking the dose limits into account the abdominal wall of the surgeon relatively receives the highest dose, with an average of 8.2 micro Sv per procedure.
Conclusion: Radiation dose levels are less than the established dose limits for (nonexposed) workers if the number of procedures is restricted to about 100/person/year.