Lymph nodes are oval shaped glands that produce cells that defend the body against foreign objects. They are present in different parts of the body such as the neck, armpits, behind the ears, chest, belly and groin. Lymph node biopsy is performed as a diagnostic test to detect infection or diseases such as cancer (abnormal growth of cells) in the lymph nodes.
Lymph node biopsy is performed under local or general anesthesia and takes about 45 minutes to complete. During the procedure, the skin around your lymph node is cleaned and a small incision is made in the area of the affected lymph node. A complete lymph node or a part of it is removed and sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination. The incision is then closed with the help of sutures. Like all invasive procedures, lymph node biopsy may be associated with certain side effects such as bleeding, infection of the incision site and nerve injury.