If I remove a lymph node for cosmetic reasons, am I removing something that might be useful?

Question

Thanks for your reply regarding all of my lymph node questions. We're still undecided about removing them for cosmetic reasons and wanted your opinion about it. If it's not a lymphoma and the glands are removed anyway, are we removing something useful that was doing some good to fight the HIV or can we assume they are proliferated beyond usefulness. What type of scar is left after this type of surgery? Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all my questions.

Answer

If you choose to remove a lymph node for cosmetic reasons, you do NOT need to worry about removing something that might be useful. The body has so much lymphoid tissue, that a few lymph nodes less won't make any difference. In fact, people have studied what happens if the spleen is removed. The spleen is one big lymph node located in the upper left part of the abdomen. HIV positive patients who have their spleens removed do not progress to AIDS any faster than patients who have their spleen intact.