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Procedure Info & Care

by | Nov 1, 2022

Fine Needle Aspiration

Fine Needle Aspiration is a minimally invasive procedure. The needles used in this procedure are thinner than those used for blood drawing. Because of the ultrasound guided aspiration techniques, both palpable and nonpalpable lesions can be assessed. Fine needle aspiration collects cells from superficial mass lesions including thyroid nodules, superficial lymph nodes, salivary gland lesions, and subcutaneous or superficial soft tissue lesions. It is a very safe minimally invasive diagnostic procedure.

The advantages of a pathologist performing FNA’s:

  • FNA’s are done onsite and can be immediately assessed for adequacy of the specimen.
  • Depending on the results of the immediate evaluation, additional specimens can be collected for special studies such as culture, flow cytometry and immunohistochemical staining.
  • A preliminary result is typically communicated to the patient during the appointment. The final result is usually sent to the referring provider within 24 hours.

Bone Marrow Aspiration & Biopsy

Bone marrow, the soft tissue inside bones, helps form blood cells. Bone marrow sampling allows for the diagnosis of infections, low blood count causes (e.g. anemia), lymphoma, leukemia and other blood disorders.

Outpatient bone marrow sampling usually takes less than 30 minutes, and one of our primary goals is patient comfort.

The patient usually has a specimen taken from the posterior back (iliac crest) using a needle that is slightly larger than ones used to routinely draw blood. The patient is asked to lie on the side or stomach. The skin is cleaned and injected with a numbing medication (Lidocaine) at the site where the specimen is to be obtained. After a few minutes, samples are taken and a Band-Aid is placed over the site. The procedure risks are the same as having blood drawn (infection and bleeding). After the procedure avoid heavy lifting or strenuous activity for the first 24hrs. The following day, resume activities as tolerated.

Aspiration and biopsy care tips:

  • Keep the Band-Aid on for 24 hours. Do not shower or bathe during this time.
  • Apply pressure to the area if bleeding or swelling occurs at the biopsy site. A small amount of bleeding is normal, but it should not soak through the bandage. If it does, apply pressure and call your primary care physician.
  • Take whatever medication you normally use for musculoskeletal pain (e.g. acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin etc.) to alleviate discomfort at the site.

Call your referring physician to address pain that is not relieved by this approach.