Lymphadenopathy is a common finding in patients who have recent illnesses such as a cold or the flu. However, in patients without any recent illness who have lymph nodes increasing in size, this can represent a larger underlying problem.
Definition of Lymphadenopathy
Swollen or enlarged lymph nodes are given the name lymphadenopathy in the medical literature.
Anatomy of Lymphadenopathy
The body generates an immune system that functions as a defense against foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. The backbone of this system is called the lymphatic system. B cells and T cells are used to fight off invaders and spend a significant amount of time in the lymph nodes. Lymph nodes can sometimes become swollen with these extra cells and when this happens, the term is called lymphadenopathy.
Causes of Lymphadenopathy
There are numerous causes of lymphadenopathy and it is helpful to break them down into two different categories. Infectious causes are more benign and lymphadenopathy generally develops because the immune system is working in overdrive to fight off an infection. Oncologic causes are more serious and include diseases such as lymphoma and other cancers that have metastasized to the lymph nodes.
Symptoms of Lymphadenopathy
The symptoms of lymphadenopathy will vary widely depending on the condition and cause. The only required symptom is swollen lymph nodes. Other common findings might include:
- Redness over the swollen area
- Weight loss
Diagnosis of Lymphadenopathy
The diagnosis of lymphadenopathy only requires a physical exam. Based on the of the lymph node and the circumstances surrounding the patient’s presentation, the physician will decide whether or not further testing is warranted to investigate the underlying cause of the swollen lymph node.
Prevention of Lymphadenopathy
Lymphadenopathy is a symptom of an underlying problem. Patients can lessen their risk of infection by washing their hands regularly to avoid illness.
Am I At Risk for Lymphadenopathy?
Every patient is at risk for lymphadenopathy because everyone gets sick at some point in their lives. However, patients with a family history of cancer or other risk factors for cancer are at risk for more serious causative conditions of lymphadenopathy.
Treatment of Lymphadenopathy
For most people, waiting until their cold or virus passes will resolve their lymphadenopathy. However, for some patients, a lymph node biopsy can provide a diagnosis and aid in planning treatment.
To learn more about treatment procedures for this condition please visit the following:
Lymphadenopathy is a serious and sensitive situation that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. A lymphadenopathy can cause serious pain and can have serious consequences which deserves the attention of an insightful general surgeon. Well-rounded surgeons like Dr. Jenna Kazil spend years training and treating lymphadenopathy. Patients in need of a lymph node biopsy on Florida’s West Coast should locate an acquainted general surgeon who has the surgical skills necessary to perform these serious surgical operations for the benefit of their patients. Dr. J. Kazil is a sophisticated general surgeon who has developed an impressive track record of successful treating lymphadenopathy cases. Dr. Kazil understands the important circumstances that drive the treatment with the accuracy and compassion that everyone expects from an omniscient general surgeon. Jenna Kazil, MD, FACS, RPVI is an expert surgical specialist working as a vascular and general surgeon seeing patients from South Sarasota to East Desoto and Hardee to North Hillsborough to West Manatee and Pinellas counties. Patients requiring lymph node biopsy should contact Dr. Kazil at the Florida Surgical Clinic located in Bradenton, FL today to schedule an appointment with an exceptional, experienced doctor that possesses compassionate care and a unique blend of expert skills.