Lymphoma and Surgery

Although surgery can be used to help diagnose lymphoma (through biopsies), surgery is rarely used as a form of treatment. However, researchers have recently identified certain situations in which surgery may be a beneficial addition to a patient’s treatment plan, along with more traditional options, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

One of the most promising possibilities for the use of surgery in lymphoma treatment is in the case of primary pulmonary lymphomas – especially those that develop in bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT). These tumors can sometimes be removed through surgical procedures, such as video-assisted thoracoscopy or open thoracoscopy.

Other diagnoses for which lymphoma surgery might be appropriate include:

  • Splenic lymphomas – surgical removal of the spleen can help eliminate cancerous cells from the body
  • Nodal marginal zone lymphomas – a small number of these cancers might be eligible for surgical resection
  • Pediatric B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphomas – in some situations, a surgeon may recommend total removal of the tumors as an alternative to intensified chemotherapy, or may need to perform an emergency surgery in the case of sudden and serious complications

Surgery can also be used to help drain pleural effusions, which are buildups of fluid in the chest that often develop as a complication of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, these surgeries are not intended to treat the cancer itself, but rather to alleviate a specific symptom and improve a patient’s quality of life.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our research team is continually investigating possible ways to incorporate surgery into lymphoma treatment. Our robust clinical trials program allows patients to access the latest therapies, including new surgical techniques, before they are widely available in other settings, while being closely monitored by multiple expert oncologists.

Our team can determine if lymphoma surgery is an option for your specific diagnosis. Referrals are not required to meet with the experts at Moffitt. To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.