As part of staging, it may be necessary to sample tissues from the abdomen to determine whether lymphoma is present. This is usually done by inserting the hollow tube of a laparoscope though a small incision in the abdomen, examining the organs, and taking small samples of tissues through the tube.
It may sometimes be necessary to remove the spleen as part of treatment or staging. Removal of the spleen can often be done laparoscopically. The main side effect of splenectomy, other than the possibility of infection or anesthesia complications, is that the patient may be more likely to get certain types of infections, particularly pneumonia. In most cases, vaccination against common bacteria that cause pneumonia can prevent this from occurring. An alternative to removing the spleen is to irradiate it with external beam radiation.