What to Expect During Fine Needle Aspiration

For people undergoing fine needle aspiration, you can expect:

  • The skin over the area of the procedure will be cleaned with antiseptic solution and will then be covered with a sterile drape.
  • The area may be injected with a numbing medication under your skin
  • Ultrasound will be used during the procedure as this will help locate the right area for fine needle aspiration.
  • A fine needle, attached to a syringe, to be inserted through the skin into the required area
  • Body fluid, or tissue will be aspirated into the needle and syringe via a vacuum inside the syringe.

The fine needle aspiration itself is usually a short procedure (less than 10 minutes).

The biopsy sample will be examined under a microscope right away. 


Complications of Fine Needle Aspiration

Serious complications after fine needle aspiration are rare. Minor bleeding under the skin at the biopsy site can occur. This can result in a tender, swollen area called a haematoma.

Infection at the biopsy site is rare, because sterile techniques and equipment are used for all fine needle aspirations.