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What are lymph nodes?

Lymph nodes are located throughout the body and are part of the lymphatic system. The basic function of the lymphatic system of the body is immunity. Lymph nodes usually occur in groups. They act as "filters" for parts of the body. Some lymph nodes are close to the skin surface making them easy to notice. These lymph nodes may give early clues to infection and malignancy.

How are large lymph nodes treated?

We usually observe swollen lymph nodes for a period of time before removing them. Most lymph node swelling is a reaction to ongoing infection. Many times a virus can cause the lymph nodes to swell. This requires no treatment. For some infected lymph nodes, antibiotics may be given. Sometimes, they develop into an abscess (acute localized infection caused by tissue destruction with swelling and inflammation) that may need to be drained. Lymph nodes are removed only if they remain large and don't shrink. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask your doctor.

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Children' s Memorial Hermann Hospital
6411 Fannin
Houston, Texas 77030

Phone: (713) 222-2273

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This information, although based on a thorough knowledge and careful review of current medical literature, is the opinion of doctors at The University of Texas Medical School and is presented to inform you about surgical conditions. It is not meant to contradict any information you may receive from your personal physician and should not be used to make decisions about surgical treatment. If you have any questions about the information above or your child's care, please contact our doctors.