How is FNA Used to Diagnose Medical Problems?

DCL Photo 6FNA (also known as fine needle biopsy) is a safe, effective, and less invasive method to biopsy a suspicious mass. If a lump, cyst, or other abnormality is found, FNA can be performed immediately to get a diagnosis usually within 24 hours.  Preliminary diagnosis is usually available immediately following FNA.

It generally requires little more than a local anesthetic at the site of a needle puncture, and a small adhesive bandage afterward.

When is FNA Appropriate?

FNA is routinely used to diagnose benign, infections or other conditions, such as cancer. There are several instances in which FNA is appropriate for diagnosis, including masses or enlargements of:

  • Head and Neck
  • Thyroid
  • Parathyroid
  • Salivary Gland
  • Lymph Node
  • Soft Tissue

The procedure is often appropriate to diagnose the nature of swellings or lumps found just under the skin. These lumps may be found during a doctor visit or self-examination. Abnormalities might also be found during CT scans or ultrasounds. An ultrasound guided biopsy can be an effective aid during the procedure.

FNA an Effective Alternative to Surgical Biopsy

FNA is effective in nearly every case, including testing abnormalities in the lymph nodes in the neck, armpit, or groin, in the thyroid, parathyroid, salivary gland, head, or neck. Essentially, any soft tissue can be tested using FNA.

In many cases, an accurate diagnosis is difficult or impossible without a biopsy, but patients are often uncomfortable with the idea of undergoing a surgical biopsy. FNA provides an alternative to surgical biopsy while retaining the accuracy of a diagnosis. And the results of a fine needle biopsy are 98 to 99 percent accurate.

The Procedure

Patients are comfortable and alert during the test and able to return to home, school, or work, right away. There are rare complications and when they occur, they may include very mild swelling or bruising. In most cases, testing takes less than one hour and the results are available for discussion before you leave the office. Full diagnostic reports are typically available within 48 hours.

Medical Expertise

The team of medical professionals at DCL Pathology are highly experienced and nationally recognized.  We have performed more than 50,000 FNA procedures.

We are one of the largest and most accomplished FNA clinics in the US, and our services are available for patients throughout the central Indiana medical community, as well as the surrounding region. If you are interested in learning more about fine needle biopsy or you are concerned about an abnormality, please contact us to schedule an appointment.