What can patients expect from a visit to DCL Pathology for FNA
FNA (also known as fine needle biopsy) is a diagnostic procedure used to investigate unusual lumps or masses in the body. If you or your doctor discover something unusual and believe it could be a concern, FNA provides a safe, effective way to diagnose the cause of the abnormality.
In many cases, you can avoid a major surgical procedure and begin treatment as soon as possible once the abnormality is diagnosed. This not only reduces the risk associated with the diagnostic procedure, it puts your mind at ease and increases the odds treatment will be successful.
What happens prior to your appointment?
- Your appointment will usually occur within a week.
- Please provide prior medical information including any imaging. Please let us know if you are on blood thinners.
- There is no need to fast; you may eat as you normally would.
What happens the day of your appointment?
- The entire visit takes about an hour.
- Our facility is conveniently located and easily accessible with parking a few feet from the door.
- You will be greeted at our front desk and asked to fill out the usual paperwork
- You will be escorted to an exam room where an assistant will take your vital signs
- You will meet the doctor, an FNA specialist, who will review your medical history and perform an exam.
- You will likely have an ultrasound examination, and the FNA specialist will explain and perform the procedure.
What happens during the procedure?
- The affected area is numbed with topical anesthetic; you do not undergo general anesthesia
- A thin, hollow needle is used to collect a sample of tissue or fluid from within the suspicious area.
- The cells are examined under a microscope and a doctor is able to make a preliminary diagnosis in just a few minutes.
- The doctor will often be able to discuss the preliminary results with you and will provide you with post biopsy instructions
What happens after your appointment?
- There are generally no special restrictions. While it’s always good to have someone with you, it’s not necessary. You are free to go back to work or school and you can resume your typical activities.
- If you have a concern about biopsy side effects, please contact our office
- The FNA specialist will review all of your results and send a report to your referring physician within a few days
- Your referring physician will be in contact with you to discuss any further follow up or treatment