Background: Sentinel lymph-node scintigraphy is a useful method for accurate staging of
different tumors and a helpful tool in personalized therapy for oncological patients. The radiation exposure
for surgical staff has been a concern since the sentinel lymph-node detection method was developed.
Objective: The objective of the study was to determine and quantify the exposure to radiation of the
non-dominant index for the surgeon performing sentinel lymph-node removal and to determine, if there
is an irradiation risk imposed during the surgical procedure.
Method: We performed a study over a period of one year, where we evaluated the exposure of surgeon’s
non-dominant index during 196 sentinel lymph-node removal procedures. The pharmaceutical
was administrated via subcutaneous injection in four peritumoral or perilesional injection sites. The
equipment we used consisted of EuroProbe3 for sentinel lymph-node detection and ring TLD dosimeter
placed on the surgeon's non-dominant index.
Results: The clinical distribution was: 104 melanomas, 84 breast carcinomas, 6 vulvar carcinomas and 2
penial carcinomas. The administered activity showed an average of 39.55 MBq (SD ± 1.96) Tc-99m
nanoalbumin compound. The non-dominant index exposure ranged between 0.10 mSv and 0.13
mSv/month with a cumulative dose of 1.31 mSv/year, thus 6.69 µSv per procedure.
Conclusion: The surgeon received a minimal dose for the non-dominant index. The values we recorded
did not pose any additional concerns or restrictions, the exposure being under the limits and constraints
established by regulations, close to the detectability limit of the dosimeter. The procedure is safe in
terms of radiation protection, respecting the limitation and optimization principles.