lymph node biopsy

Your immune system has a unique system that allows it to recognize and fight infections, meaning your body will respond to an infection differently. One such response includes swelling of your lymph nodes which are part of the immune system. A swollen lymph node mostly appears as a lump under your skin, and the only way to rule out causes of swollen lymph nodes is through a Somerville lymph node biopsy. A lymph node biopsy is usually necessary if you have swollen and enlarged lymph nodes. Here is a discussion on why you need a lymph node biopsy and the different types of procedures.

Why A Lymph Node Biopsy?

You require a lymph node biopsy to check for diseases in your lymph nodes, organs that help your body identify and fight off infections. You may develop a swollen lymph node as a response to an infection anywhere in your body, appearing as a bump under your skin. During a routine examination, your doctor may find the swelling and perform a lymph node biopsy to help check for signs of cancer, infections, and immune disorders.

What Are The Different Types of Lymph Node Biopsy?

During a lymph node biopsy, your doctor can remove a tissue sample of the swollen lymph node or the whole node. The lymph node sample will go into the lab for examination under a microscope to determine the reason for the swelling. There are four ways your doctor can perform this biopsy.

Needle Biopsy

During a needle biopsy, you will lie on an examination table where your doctor cleans the site and then applies a numbing medication. Your doctor then inserts a fine needle into the lymph node to remove cell samples. Your doctor will then remove the needle and bandage the site.

Open Biopsy

Your doctor may remove a portion of the lymph node or the entire lymph node during an open biopsy. First, you will receive local anesthesia, but you can ask for general anesthesia if you want to sleep throughout the biopsy. Your doctor will make a small cut and remove the required portion of the lymph node. Next, your doctor will stitch the biopsy site and apply a bandage.

Sentinel Biopsy

Your doctor can perform this type of biopsy if you have cancer and your doctor wishes to determine if it may spread. You will receive an injection of a tracer in your body near the cancerous site. The blue dye will travel to the sentinel nodes, which your doctor will remove and take to the lab to test for cancer cells.

Laparoscopic Lymph Node Biopsy

During this biopsy, your doctor will make a small incision in your lower abdomen to access the lymph nodes. Next, your doctor will insert a laparoscope through the incision and direct it to the lymph nodes. Your doctor will then navigate the region and remove the lymph nodes with an instrument in the laparoscope.

A lymph node biopsy can be necessary to rule out cancer and other infections while determining the cause of your swollen lymph nodes. Generally, a lymph node biopsy is a minor procedure your doctor does in the shortest time possible with little discomfort. You can talk to your doctor about your concerns about what will happen during your biopsy and possible results. Depending on your biopsy results, your doctor may recommend further tests to find other causes of the enlarged lymph nodes.