How Is a Lymph Node Biopsy Performed?

A lymph node biopsy can be performed using different techniques, including:

  • Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA): A thin needle is inserted into the lymph node to withdraw a small sample of cells.
  • Core Needle Biopsy: A larger needle is used to remove a core of tissue from the lymph node.
  • Excisional Biopsy: The entire lymph node or a significant portion of it is surgically removed for examination. This is often done when a more comprehensive sample is needed.
  • Preparation and Procedure: The area over the lymph node is cleaned and numbed with a local anesthetic. If a needle biopsy is performed, the needle is guided into the lymph node to collect the tissue sample. For an excisional biopsy, a small incision is made to remove the lymph node, and stitches may be used to close the incision.