Sentinel lymphadenectomy (SL) is a minimally invasive approach for staging patients with breast cancer. SL, when performed in lieu of axillary dissection, is associated with less morbidity and is potentially more cost effective and more accurate than the historical axillary dissection in the detection of regional nodal metastases. The credentialing and privileging of SL, as with any surgical procedure, is by the policies of the local hospital or institution. The suggested credentialing criteria for local hospitals has been an area of controversy. Herein the authors outline the credentialing controversy and suggest criteria for the implementation of sentinel lymph node staging for breast cancer. (C) 2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.
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