A lymph node is an immune system element that functions as a filter to safeguard the body from dangerous chemicals. Lymph nodes are located everywhere throughout the body, and in healthy individuals, they are typically not apparent or felt. As such, a lymph node that is swollen or enlarged often indicates the presence of a pathological disease. A Somerville lymph node biopsy is a procedure wherein a whole lymph node or a portion of it is obtained and sent to a lab for diagnosis. Continue reading to learn about the different techniques for a lymph node biopsy.
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)
An FNA biopsy is similar to providing a blood sample, except that the physician utilizes a thinner needle with a hollow tube in the middle. Your physician inserts the needle into one of your lymph nodes to extract cells and fluid, which are then analyzed in the lab. You might receive local anesthetic or medications to numb the region where the procedure is performed.
Typically, a Fine Needle Aspiration is an outpatient procedure. However, you might undergo additional biopsies if the physician does not obtain sufficient tissue for a diagnosis.
Core Needle Biopsy
A Core Needle Biopsy is similar to the FNA, except the doctor uses a bigger needle with a bigger hollow core. With this needle, the doctor can remove a little piece of tissue, which provides more information than cells and fluids. Typically, this procedure is performed under local anesthesia.
With both forms of needle biopsies, the physician might have to insert the needle multiple times to obtain a sufficient sample. Even so, the entire process only takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
An open biopsy removes either a piece or the complete lymph node. Your physician can perform this surgery under local anesthetic by applying a numbing agent to the biopsy location. Additionally, you might choose general anesthesia, which would put you to sleep during the procedure.
The duration of the complete treatment is approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Your physician will create a tiny incision, then obtain the desired sample. Your doctor then sutures the biopsy location and covers it with a bandage.
After an open biopsy, discomfort is typically mild, and your physician could recommend over-the-counter pain meds. The incision requires up to two weeks to completely heal. You must refrain from vigorous exercise and strenuous activity as your cut heals.
If you have cancer, your physician might perform a sentinel lymph node biopsy to assess where the disease is most susceptible to spreading. During this treatment, your physician will put a blue dye, also known as a tracer, close to the cancerous location. The dye flows to the sentinel lymph nodes, the lymph nodes that a tumor empties into first.
Your physician extracts this lymph node and takes it to a laboratory for cancer cell analysis. Your care plan is tailored according to the lab test findings.
A lymph node biopsy is a modest treatment that could assist your physician in determining the source of your swollen lymph nodes. This procedure can diagnose specific illnesses, grade cancer, or identify if cancer has spread to other body parts. Consult your specialist if you have concerns about what to anticipate from a lymph node biopsy or the test findings.