Fine needle aspiration is a relatively non-invasive, less painful and quicker method when compared to other methods of tissue sampling such as surgical biopsy. A cyst aspiration can also be achieved with this procedure, where the fluid is drained from a cyst with no need for analysis.
Process: A fine-needle aspiration biopsy is a simple and quick procedure. It is performed to collect a sample of cells or fluid from a cyst or solid mass, to allow the cells to be examined under a microscope. Local anesthetic is not usually required for a fine needle aspiration, as the procedure should not be painful. Fine needle aspirations may be performed on palpable lumps (lumps which can be felt), or impalpable lumps which have been detected on ultrasound or x-ray. Once the skin has been cleaned at the needle entry point, the lump is then examined. If the lump can be felt, your doctor or surgeon will palpate the lump to position it for the needle. If the lump cannot be felt, imaging may be required to find the exact location. This can be done with ultrasound, where the surgeon will watch the needle on the ultrasound monitor and guide it to the area, or with a stereotactic mammogram (for the breast) which uses two mammograms at different angles and a computer to create exact coordinates.
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