Patients may present with enlarged lymph nodes in their neck, groin, axilla, or other areas of the body. There are many reasons for enlargement of lymph nodes including infection, localized injury, or malignancy. Depending on your symptoms and presentation you may be a candidate for biopsy of these lymph nodes.

Once you have reached the level of a surgeon, you are often seeking an excisional biopsy which means the entire lymph node is removed for the purpose of diagnosis. This is often the case when a previous needle biopsy has been inconclusive. Lymph Node biopsy in the hands of a surgeon occurs in the operating room under sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the extent and location of the lymph node of concern.

A small incision is made over the lymph node and the lymph node is carefully extracted in a fashion to keep the node intact. The lymph node is sent to the pathologist and results take anywhere from 3-7days to return.