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Fine Needle Aspiration or Biopsy

A fine needle biopsy (FNB) is used to evaluate tissues for abnormal cells, disease, cancer, or infection. A common type of FNB is a fine needle aspiration (FNA), which removes fluid and cells through a syringe attached to the needle. The procedure for FNA and FNB is basically the same, and they are sometimes done together. Fine needle biopsies can be obtained from organs, soft tissues or tumors in many parts of the body including: breast, kidney, liver, lung, pancreas, prostate, thyroid, ovary or lymph nodes.

As our patient, we are committed to making your experience as easy and comfortable as possible and providing the medical answers needed to guide your care.


Learn more about what to expect with this procedure:

  • We will call you prior to your appointment to provide you with specific instructions and review health and insurance information.
  • Please bring previous images you have had to the appointment, including ultrasound, mammography and MRI exams or provide the name, address and contact information of the place where you had the exams done. The radiologist may need your previous films for comparison in order to make an accurate assessment.
  • Please notify a member of our staff if you are nursing or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • For your comfort and safety, please consider bringing someone with you to your biopsy procedure to drive you home.
  • This exam usually takes about an hour.
  • You will be positioned so the area to be biopsied is easily accessible.
  • The radiologist then inserts a thin, hollow needle and positions it in location of the abnormality.
  • Several tissue samples may be taken and they are sent on to a pathologist to be examined.
  • Once the biopsy is complete, the needle is removed, pressure will be applied, and the skin is covered with a dressing.

Ask a member of our staff for more specific information on when and how you will receive your results. However, in general you can expect:

  • Light gauze will be placed over the biopsy area, you may experience some bruising.
  • Our staff will explain how and when you will receive your results.

If you have additional questions about your appointment or our services, please contact your local imaging center.