Surgical biopsy is the only surgical procedure used for lymphoma and this is for diagnostic purposes only. This procedure is performed in all cases to obtain a complete histology of the lymphoma. In cases where it would be inappropriate to do a surgical biopsy, multiple needle biopsies are taken with stereotactic needles.
Surgery normally does not have a place in the treatment of malignant lymphoma. For selected patients in stage I of nodular lymphocyte-rich Hodgkin's lymphoma, total removal of the infiltrated lymph node would make additional treatment unnecessary. This is not currently standard treatment, however.
In most cases where the involved lymph node or tumor has been removed entirely, the operation has been carried out for other indications, for example, suspicion of appendicitis or tonsilitis. Oncological treatment with chemotherapy is necessary supplementary treatment, even if the tumor is completely removed.