The lymph nodes are responsible for filtering out harmful substances in the body and respond to infection. Swollen lymph nodes are an indication of infection, and a lymph node biopsy may be done to investigate chronic infections, immune disorders and help diagnose cancer.
There are three types of lymph node biopsies:
A lymph node biopsy is done when the lymph nodes are swollen, indicating infection in the body and the source is unknown. It is also used to diagnose cancer. Which of the three biopsies will be done depends on your specific case and severity of inflammation in the lymph nodes.
Most patients are able to go home on the same day as the biopsy, no matter which type is done. How soon you will be discharged from hospital depends on whether you are able to drink liquids when waking up, how much pain you have and whether you have someone to look after you at home.
Depending what type of biopsy is done, Dr Noorbhai will send the sample off to the laboratory for testing and call you when the results become available within a few days. If further testing is needed, you may have to wait a bit longer for results. He will check individually for cancer cells in the sample, and if not present he will evaluate the results to find the cause of your swollen lymph nodes. You will instructed on how to look after the biopsy site afterwards. Following your biopsy you may experience the following:
You should re-consult if you have an unusually high temperature, chills, vomiting, swelling around the incisions and have discharge or bleeding from the biopsy site as emergency care may be needed.
How soon after the surgery can I resume normal activities?
You will be able to resume normal activities soon after your surgery; however, it is important to start slowly. If you experience pain during a certain activities, stop that activity. You may not do any heavy lifting or vigorous physical activity for at least 6 weeks after your procedure. You may return to driving after 2 weeks once your groin pain has subsided, and resume light physical activity after 3 weeks. It may take up to 6 weeks for a full recovery.
The risk of complications include: