Post-op Simple Follow-up Instructions Following FNA

DCL Pathology 1FNA (also known as fine needle biopsy) is used to diagnosis suspicious lumps, cysts, nodules, and other abnormalities in the body. Though there are many causes for these issues, the goal of FNA is to rule out cancer or determine an appropriate treatment plan if cancer is present. The procedure is an outpatient one.

Most FNA visits take approximately 60 minutes, including preparation and discussion of preliminary results. Patients are given local anesthesia to reduce discomfort from the needle puncture. In most cases, ultrasound guidance is used during the procedure to help locate the correct location for the biopsy. Fluid or tissue collected during the procedure is immediately evaluated microscopically for a preliminary diagnosis.

What to Expect After the Procedure

Post-op care for FNA is relatively simple. The procedure is less invasive than surgical biopsies and there are rare complications. Most patients are able to return to their regular routines immediately following the procedure and may be given post-biopsy instructions by the doctor.

Possible Side Effects

Side effects and complications from FNA are mild and may include slight swelling, tenderness, and mild discomfort which typically passes within a day or two. About one in 10 patients experience a small bruise similar to the kind that occurs when blood is drawn. Any discomfort that occurs can be treated with an over-the-counter pain reliever (like acetaminophen), or the application of an ice pack for short periods.

More serious complications are extremely rare but could include infection at the biopsy site, allergic reaction to the local anesthetic, or more severe bleeding (very rare). Patients are encouraged to contact their doctors or our clinic immediately if the site of the insertion appears unusually red, swollen, or is painful. A follow-up exam and treatment might be necessary in these cases.


Patients undergoing FNA at DCL Pathology usually receive preliminary results before leaving our facility. Final results are typically provided to the patient’s referring doctor within a few days. The efficiency of the procedure ensures patients are able to begin treatment as soon as possible. If your doctor has recommended a biopsy or FNA, or you have questions about the procedure, please contact us today.