Lymph node biopsy is the name given to a particular test, wherein either a lymph node or sometimes even just a portion of a lymph node is extracted in order to get an easier examination with the help of a microscope. This allows doctors to get a closer look at these nodes. Lymph node needle biopsy is one of the common ways of procuring this sample.
The lymph node biopsy procedure could also be an open one. In order to properly understand this lymph node biopsy procedure, let us take a closer look at the lymphatic system. Now this system is full of lymph nodes. These nodes in turn are linked via lymph vessels. One of the functions of these nodes is the production of white blood cells (termed as lymphocytes). Now these lymphocytes are of utmost importance as they fight infections. When we happen to experience an infection, these nodes tend to become distended. They increase their regular production of white blood cells. They also try to actually trap whatever organisms have led to our infection. Another important point to note about these nodes is that they even attempt to ensnare cancer cells.
Generally speaking, the lymph node biopsy procedure is typically used to identify what could result in the swelling of your lymph nodes. This is done when you appear to have swollen glands. Another use of this test is when you have a tumor. It seeks to find out if the lymph node tumor that you have is cancerous. Similarly it may also be used in cases of Hodgkin's lymphoma, or cases of Sarcoidosis.
Lymph node needle biopsy or an open one will be used to look into the above mentioned symptoms. Causes for these particular symptoms would depend on the disorder. For instance, swollen lymph nodes could be a warning sign of cancer. However, an infection is more likely to cause these swollen glands.
This will depend on the type of biopsy. For instance, in the case of lymph node needle biopsy, you will have to undergo the insertion of a needle right inside your node so as to collect a sample for examination. There are various locations for lymph nodes so you could have various kinds of biopsies, such as axillary lymph node biopsy or a groin lymph node biopsy. The sentinel lymph node mapping and biopsy is a little controversial, but is rapidly developing. It is often used in cases of patients suffering from breast cancer.