The purpose of this study was to identify melanoma patients with positive sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) at increased risk for further metastases in this specific lymph node basin. A series of consecutive patients with primary malignant melanoma stage I and II were evaluated retrospectively. The results of SLN biopsy in 26 patients with positive SLNs were compared with those of complete regional lymph node dissection (RLND) using the recently published S-classification of SLNs. The results of S-classification of SLNs were correlated with the outcome of complete RLND. There was a significant correlation between the S stage of positive SLNs and the results of complete RLND (P=0.02). Only patients with SIII stage (n=4) SLNs were found to have further metastases in the residual lymph node basin. The present study indicates that patients with SI stage and SII stage SLNs rarely have further metastases in the specific lymph node basin.