Axillary Dissection

Axillary dissection is the removal of all the lymph nodes in the armpit. This is necessary when the sentinel node has been shown to contain cancer cells (metastatic spread) and has been said to be associated with a high risk (20-50%) of developing lymphoedema (swelling of the arm).

Dr Tan has written two papers about a particular technique for axillary dissection which minimises the chances of this happening (less than 10%). Once again, she is the only surgeon in Singapore to do so, and the first internationally to describe a unique technique of surgical approach to achieve this desirable result. Please feel free to consult Dr Tan for a copy of these articles.

One of the most feared complications of axillary dissection (complete removal of lymph node tissue in the arm pit) is lymphoedema. This is swelling of the affected arm and is difficult to treat. Internationally, doctors have determined that the likelihood of developing lymphoedema after axillary dissection is between 21% and 49%. Dr Tan has described a technique which minimizes the chance of this occurring. If Dr Tan were to do the procedure, the likelihood of a patient developing lymphoedema would be 8%. A lower risk of this complication is beneficial for the patient.


Our Locations

Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
38 Irrawaddy Road, #06-21
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
Singapore 329563
Phone: (65) 6694 1706

Mount Elizabeth Orchard
3 Mt Elizabeth, #11-02,
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre
Singapore 228510
Phone: (65) 6734 4880

Consultation Hours

Mon - Fri: 9 am to 12:30pm; 2 pm to 5 pm
Sat: Strictly by Appointment