The lymph nodes produce white blood cells that help to fight infections in the body.  When an infection is present, the lymph nodes swell and produce more white blood cells, attempting to trap the infection causing germs. Lymph nodes will also try to trap cancer cells.

What is a Lymph Node Biopsy?

A lymph node biopsy is a test in which a piece of the lymph node is biopsied for examination. The rest is done as an outpatient procedure. During the procedure, samples may be obtained during a needle biopsy or an open biopsy.

Needle Biopsy- A needle biopsy involves inserting a needle into the lymph node to remove a sample. This procedure does not require anesthesia and is commonly done in just 15 minutes.

Open Biopsy- An open biopsy surgery involves removing all or part of the lymph node. Stitches will be used to close the incision. This procedure commonly takes 30-45 minutes to complete.

After surgery, the sample will be sent to a laboratory to determine if the tissue is cancerous or non-cancerous.

Lymph Node Biopsy Results

In most cases, lymph node biopsy results come back normal. However, in the case that results are abnormal, several different conditions may be present. These conditions include:

  • Mild infections
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Sarcoidosis

In these cases, our ENT physicians will work with you to find a trustworthy and experienced cancer specialist.

If are interested in undergoing a lymph node biopsy in the Tuscaloosa area, contact our office today. Swollen lymph nodes are the most common sign that a lymph node biopsy may be needed.

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