Surgical biopsies are the preferred specimen for the histopathological diagnosis of all lymphomas, and this is especially true for Hodgkin’s lymphoma (refer to sections on diagnostics). Otherwise, surgery is rarely indicated for Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The following surgical procedures are sometimes performed:
- Explorative laparotomy
Explorative laparotomy is performed if other diagnostic examinations do not clarify the disease status in the abdomen, and where clarification of this would lead to significant therapeutic consequences. Explorative laparotomy, or possibly laparoscopy, for obtaining an adequate biopsy is also performed if a diagnosis cannot be made by another method, for example ultrasound-guided biopsy.
In one of three patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma, the spleen is involved. Splenectomy was performed previously for confirmation of this. Newer imaging modalities especially use of ultrasound and modern use of chemotherapy has rendered this procedure unnecessary today.
In some cases, a splenectomy may be perfomed at the end of treatment to evaluate the disease status.