Lymph nodes are part of our immune system and play a crucial role in filtering out foreign particles and microorganisms, such as bacteria and viruses, and cancer cells from the lymphatic fluid that circulates through the body. Your doctor may recommend a Somerville lymph node biopsy if you have swollen lymph nodes or if they need to check for cancer.
Here’s everything you need to know about lymph node biopsy:
What is a Lymph Node Biopsy?
A lymph node biopsy is a medical procedure in which a doctor removes a portion or all of a lymph node and examines it under a microscope. The lymph nodes are part of the body’s immune system and help to fight infections and diseases. The lymph nodes can become swollen and tender when something is wrong with the body, such as an infection or cancer. A biopsy of the affected lymph node can provide important information about the cause of the swelling and help with a diagnosis.
Types of Lymph Node Biopsy
Types of lymph node biopsy include;
Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
When you undergo this type of biopsy, it resembles extracting a blood sample, except that your surgeon uses a needle that is even thinner and has a hollow tube in the middle.
Your doctor inserts a needle into a lymph node on your body to extract fluid and cells for later analysis by other medical professionals. You can be given a local anesthetic, a medication that prevents you from experiencing discomfort during the procedure. The procedure is relatively quick, takes only a few minutes, and involves minimal discomfort.
An open biopsy involves removing the entire lymph node or a portion through an incision in the skin. This type of biopsy is usually performed under general anesthesia in a hospital setting and may take several hours to complete. Open biopsy is typically used when the results of an FNA are inconclusive or if a larger tissue sample is needed for diagnosis.
How to prepare for a lymph node biopsy
During your consultation, discuss with your doctor how to prepare for your biopsy. Depending on the type of biopsy, you may need to fast for a certain period before the procedure. Additionally, you may need to cease using some drugs beforehand. Your doctor may advise you to cease taking aspirin or blood thinners several days in advance.
Do not bring any metal items inside the biopsy room. Metals can cause severe injuries. Let the health practitioner know if you have any metal in or on your body. In addition, make plans for a companion to accompany you after your biopsy and to drive you home.
What to expect after the biopsy
After the biopsy, your physician will monitor you for a short period to ensure there are no adverse reactions. In some cases, you may experience some pain, swelling, or bruising at the biopsy site. These symptoms are typically minor and go away in a few days. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience excessive bleeding, severe pain, or other concerning symptoms.
The results of a lymph node biopsy can take several days to several weeks to obtain, depending on the type of biopsy and the laboratory performing the examination. In some cases, additional tests may be necessary to provide a complete diagnosis.
Call Somerset Surgical Associates, LLC, to book your appointment for a lymph node biopsy.