Breast Intervention

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)

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.

Vacuum Assisted Core Biopsy

What is a Vacuum Assisted Core Biopsy?

This is a method for taking a specimen of abnormal tissue under x-ray or ultrasound guidance. The vacuum biopsy provides sufficient tissue for diagnosis, avoiding the need to take the specimen by means of an operation. A vacuum assisted biopsy may also be used as a non surgical method to remove benign (non cancerous) lumps in the breast.

Are there any risks from the procedure?

There may be some bleeding inside the breast and a bruise or swelling (haematoma) will form. Care is taken that no infection occurs. When the biopsy is performed using X-ray guidance this involves the use of ionising radiation, however, the risks are very low and are outweighed by the benefits of having this procedure.

What are the benefits?

The benefits from making a diagnosis and consequently giving you the right treatment outweigh any small risks involved. With vacuum assisted biopsy, a larger specimen can be taken with a less invasive procedure. The risk to your health from not having the examination and missing a serious disorder may be much greater.

What happens during the procedure?

Once the area has been located, the surrounding skin will be numbed using local anaesthetic. A small nick will be made in the skin to assist in placing the vacuum-assisted biopsy needle close to the area. The needle, which is attached to a suction device, is then placed into the area or lump. The Radiologist uses the X-ray or ultrasound images of the area to monitor the procedure. Small amounts of tissue are collected through the needle until the required number of samples have been obtained or the lump has been removed. A clip marker may be inserted via the needle by the Radiologist. The marker will be visible on any future X-ray or ultrasound images.

At the end of the procedure, the needle device is withdrawn from the breast and the opening is pressed for a short time to stop bleeding. A small dressing will be placed over the area and it should be kept dry for 48 hours.

The procedure will take approx. 40 minutes.

The Pathology report will be sent to referring doctor, this normally takes 48 hours.

Cyst Drainage

Breast Cysts

Most cysts develop rapidly and then stay the same size, a small number of cysts shrink or continue to grow. Cysts are often too small to feel but larger cysts can be felt in the breast tissue. Cysts may be firm or soft, often women can have more than one cyst at a time. Cysts are sometimes uncomfortable or painful, often women find that their cysts get more tender or enlarged in the days before their period.

What happens during the examination?

This procedure is usually a short and simple procedure performed by our Specialist Interventional Radiologist.

You lie down on a bed and the doctor cleans your skin where they are going to put the needle. After locating the fluid/cyst, an injection of a local anesthetic is given to numb the area. Once it is numb, a needle is placed through the skin into the cyst to be drained. Once the fluid is extracted, it is then to be sent to pathology for testing.

Once the drainage is completed, a pressure dressing will be applied to the area which you can remove after 24 hours.

Do you need to book an intervention?

Call Coastal Medical Imaging and one of our friendly staff will book your intervention and answer any questions you may have.

Scroll to Top