Lymph Node Biopsy

What is a lymph node biopsy?

A lymph node biopsy is the removal of part of or an entire lymph node. The purpose is to provide pathologists tissue to examine under a microscope to aid in a diagnosis.

Why do I need a lymph node biopsy?

There are a number of reasons for needing tissue from a lymph node. Some reasons include determining if a cancer is present, determining the stage of a cancer, examining the cause of an infection, or simply due to a persistently enlarged lymph node.

What is recovery like?

Patients can return home after the procedure in the operating room. Depending on the location, strenuous activity may be advised against. The skin is commonly closed with dissolveable stitches underneath the skin and either skin glue that flakes off in 2-3 weeks OR miniature band aids that fall off in 2 weeks. Showering is allowed starting the day after surgery. The results of the biopsy can take 5-7 business days. Occasionally, a low fat diet may be recommended to decrease the risk of developing a collection a lymphatic fluid that is normally self-limited.

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