The initial draining lymph node (sentinel node) has been successfully localized using intraoperative vital dye mapping and reportedly is predictive of regional nodal metastases in Clinical- Stage 1 melanoma. In an animal model, we previously established the technique of gamma-probe-guided localization of the technetium-99 sulfur colloid labelled sentinel node and found its sensitivity equal to vital dye mapping. We now report our initial experience using gamma-probe-guided localization to identify and then surgically remove the first draining lymph node(s) in 10 malignant melanoma patients. Lymphoscintigraphy was used to confirm localization. We conclude that this technique: (a) reliably localizes the sentinel node draining the site of a primary melanoma, (b) allows the lymphatic bed to be checked intraoperatively verifying complete sentinel node biopsy, and (c) is relatively simple and can be performed under local anaesthesia.