BACKGROUND American College of Surgeons Oncology Group Z0011 trial of select node-positive breast cancer patients demonstrated no survival or recurrence differences between SLN/axillary lymph node dissection (ALND) vs SLN. Our comparable node-positive lumpectomy and mastectomy populations should have similar outcomes. METHODS An Institutional Review Board approved, retrospective review of pathologic SLN (N1) cases was performed. Treatment, recurrence, and survival were collected. Statistics was analyzed via exact chi-square test with Monte Carlo estimation, Kaplan-Meier curves, and log-rank tests. RESULTS Of 528 node-positive patients, 318 patients met criteria: 28 (21.7%) lumpectomy, 32 (16.9%) mastectomy had SLN; 101 (78.2%) lumpectomy, 157 (83.0%) mastectomy had SLN + ALND. Median age was 57.5 years for SLN and 53 years for SLN + ALND (P = .003). Mean positive nodes were 1.1 for SLN and 1.47 for SLN + ALND (P = .0018). Chemotherapy use differed (SLN = 73.5%, SLN + ALND = 89.7%, P = .0032). Stage and recurrence were higher for SLN + ALND (P = .0001, P = .007). No difference in comorbidities, nodes retrieved, extracapsular extension, radiation, hormone therapy, or overall survival was observed. CONCLUSION In clinically node-negative breast cancer patients, ALND for N1 disease has no impact on short-term recurrence or survival.