Lymph node biopsy is performed for patients with enlarged lymph nodes, or glands. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck that do not decrease in size may be worrisome for diseases such as squamous cell cancer or lymphoma. As such, enlarged lymph nodes may need to be biopsied to provide a diagnosis.
There are two common ways in which biopsies are performed. A fine-needle aspiration is a procedure performed with a patient awake. Often using an ultrasound for guidance, a small needle is inserted through the skin into the lymph node. Cells are obtained from this biopsy which are then processed. A pathologist examines these cells under a microscope, and then makes a diagnosis.
An excisional lymph node biopsy is a procedure performed either in the operating room or in the office. In this procedure the entire lymph node is removed, as opposed to a fine needle aspiration where only a small portion is removed. Local anesthesia is used to numb the skin, and a small cut is made on the neck. The lymph node is identified and removed in whole. The lymph node is then analyzed by the pathologist to interpret and provide a diagnosis.
Throatdisorder.com is an online resource for patients and physicians to learn more about common voice, swallowing, breathing and throat disorders. Throat complaints, from cough to cancer, are a common reason for patients to seek medical treatment. This website developed as a result of Dr. Sunil Verma's passions: that of education, patient care, and interest in technology.
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