Physicians recommend fine needle aspiration to detect any abnormal lump growth in the body. Doctors use physical examinations and imaging technology like CT scans or ultrasounds to help detect lumps. However, a biopsy like fine needle aspiration helps them identify the content of these abnormal lumps. These lumps can be fluid-filled cysts, solid masses of lumps, or even enlarged lymph nodes.

Doctors will obtain a small amount of tissue or cells from the affected area and analyze it to detect any abnormal tissue growth or tumors.

Fine needle aspiration can be performed on areas such as:

  • Breasts
  • Lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin region
  • Thyroid glands

How to prepare for a fine needle aspiration procedure

Patients can prepare for a fine needle aspiration procedure by:

  • Wearing light, comfortable, two-piece clothing that can be easily removed from the waist up
  • Having a light meal before the procedure
  • Discussing prior medical history with the physician and the radiologist
  • Bringing a list of medications, allergies, and supplements being taken currently
  • Not using any talcum powder, deodorant, or perfume before the procedure
  • Avoiding the intake of aspirin or aspirin-like medication for five days before the procedure
  • For female patients, wearing a tight-fitting bra

What to expect from the procedure

Fine needle aspiration is a quick outpatient biopsy procedure that takes 15 to 20 minutes. Patients can expect to feel no to mild pain or discomfort during the procedure. Patients are expected to lie on their backs, then the abnormal area is scanned and the radiologist will apply a numbing cream. After the anesthetic has taken effect, the radiologist will insert a fine-gauge needle into the tissue. This needle extracts the abnormal cells or fluid from the affected area.

Follow-up care

When the procedure is finished, a simple bandage will be applied to the aspirated area. This bandage can be taken off the same day so the area can be washed. A small hematoma may form near the site of the biopsy. If this happens, be sure to communicate this to your physician so that it may be recorded.

A pathologist will analyze the tissue and cells and draft the final results. These results will be forwarded to your physician’s office so they may formulate a diagnosis and an effective treatment plan.

TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Center is a full-service outpatient facility. Our hospital is equipped with the latest advanced technology to help physicians improve patient outcomes. Our physicians and surgeons choose TOPS because of our exceptional reputation and professional caregivers and staff. When patients need to undergo medical imaging or biopsies ordered by their physicians, they can get these medical procedures done at our facility.

Reach out to us at TOPS Surgical Specialty Hospital’s Comprehensive Breast Center to learn more about our advanced facility.