Fine Needle Aspiration

A fine needle aspiration (FNA) involves the Radiologist guiding a small needle into the breast tissue to remove a sample of cells. An FNA can also be performed to remove fluid from a simple breast cyst.

The FNA is performed under ultrasound guidance to ensure the needle is placed in the correct location.

There is no preparation needed for the procedure, however if you are taking any blood thinning medication ie Warfarin, Aspirin or Xarelto please let booking staff know. You may be required to cease or reduce the dose of medication before the day of your procedure. Please consult with your referring Doctor.

On the day of the procedure you will be asked to change into a gown and escorted into an ultrasound room.

The procedure and risks will be explained to you by the Sonographer. The Sonographer may take some images at this time.

A cytologist will also be present in the room to ensure enough cells have been taken out before the sample is taken to the laboratory.

The Radiologist will clean the site of the procedure and give you a local anaesthetic to numb the area. There will be a stinging sensation from the local anaesthetic which will pass quickly. There should not be any pain during the FNA procedure, although you will feel movement and some pressure. If you do experience any pain please let the Radiologist know. The Radiologist will then use a small, thin needle and guide it into the breast lesion to obtain the cells. This may need to be repeated a few times to ensure enough cells are collected.

After the procedure a small waterproof dressing will be applied to the site. Please keep this on for 48 hours. Some bruising, bleeding and discomfort may occur after the procedure.

If the area is uncomfortable following the procedure, a paracetamol may be taken. Please avoid taking aspirin as this can make the bruising worse. A cold pack may also be used to ease any discomfort.

The FNA sample is then send to a laboratory where the cells are studied under a microscope.

The results will be sent to your referring Doctor who should receive the results in two to five working days. Please consult your referring Doctor for any follow up.

We advise you not to drive for 24 hours following the procedure, so please take this into consideration when booking your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your original request form

  • Medicare and any Government concession pension or health care cards

  • Previous relevant imaging

Although unlikely, an infection could occur following the procedure. If the area becomes red, warm or tender, please consult your referring Doctor.

Up to 30 minutes.

Please call our practice on 07 3035 3700.