Swollen Lymph Nodes - Complications

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What are the complications of swollen lymph nodes?

There may be some complications associated with enlarged lymph nodes. If the lymph node swelling is related to an infection that is not treated, then an abscess (a pus-containing cavity) may ensue, which may require incisional drainage and antibiotics. The skin underlying the enlarged lymph node may also become infected.

In other cases, the lymph node may become very large and compress other nearby structures in the body. This could be a serious and debilitating problem that may require immediate medical or surgical attention. For example, the lymph node in the underarm (axilla) can compress the blood vessels and nerves supplying the arm. An enlarged lymph node inside the abdomen may compress the intestines and cause an obstruction of the intestines.

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Comment from: CLW, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: February 18

I had 5 CTs and 1 MRI within 3 1/2 years. The doctors say I have 3 lymph nodes that are at 9 mm size (have not changed during this time frame). Surgeon said they are too deep to biopsy but he will continue to watch.

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