Q. How common is it for a surgeon to remove salivary gland instead of a lymph node?

Answered by
Dr. Priyanka Aggarwal
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 01, 2017

Hi doctor,

I had a biopsy done, and the surgeon was supposed to remove a lymph node to check for lymphoma. But, the surgeon removed my salivary gland by mistake. The surgeon sent off the salivary gland without knowing that he removed the wrong part and they ran a couple of tests. But, the report stated that they did not have any lymphatic tissue to test, and so there were no findings. My surgeon does not feel comfortable with redoing the surgery even though my hematologist says that it needs to be done sometime over the next three months.

How common is it for a surgeon to remove a salivary gland instead of a lymph node? Is this a common mistake? How can this affect me in the future? Does the salivary gland look like a lymph node? Please look over my laboratory reports and scans and tell me your opinion about the diagnosis. The lymph nodes in my neck, clavicle, and groin have been swollen for almost a year and a half, but no infection has shown up in any of my blood work. My throat swells up sometimes on the outside. Also, I have two nodules on my thyroid, which are new and no dual on my lungs. It is all in the papers I am sending. Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Your reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity) say that you have lymphadenopathy. The tissue received for biopsy was a lymphoid tissue only.
  • But, it was not a complete lymph node, and only incisional biopsy from a node was taken which do not show any abnormality. So, they have recommended an excisional biopsy where an entire lymph node is removed and sent for biopsy.
  • It can be possible that a surgeon can remove a gland in place of lymph node because they cannot be differentiated in the case of a small gland.
  • The lung lesion is also to be investigated again after a year, and if there is any change, then further management will depend on the reports. Even if you develop any lung symptoms, it should be investigated immediately.
  • My advice goes for an excisional lymph node biopsy.

For further information consult an ENT otolaryngologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-otolaryngologist

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