Needle Biopsy

1 What is a Needle Biopsy?

A needle biopsy is a procedure to obtain a sample of cells from your body for laboratory analysis.

Common needle biopsy procedures include fine-needle aspiration and core needle biopsy.

A needle biopsy may be used to take tissue or fluid samples from muscles, bones, and other organs, such as the liver or lungs.

2 Reasons for Procedure

The main reason for a needle biopsy is for the diagnosis of a medical condition or to rule out a disease or condition. A needle biopsy can also be done to assess the progress of treatment.

The sample from your needle biopsy may help your doctor determine what is causing the following:

  • Amass or lump.
  • An infection.
  • Inflammation.

Your may also go through imaging tests, such as Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or an ultrasound, before your needle biopsy.

Sometimes these tests are also used during the needle biopsy procedure to accurately locate an area to be biopsied.

Have a question aboutNeedle Biopsy?Ask a doctor now

3 Potential Risks

Needle biopsy carries a small risk of bleeding and infection at the site where the needle was inserted.

It is also very important to call your doctor if you experience the following after needle biopsy:

  • Fever.
  • Pain at the biopsy site that worsens or is not helped by medications.
  • Selling at the biopsy site.
  • Drainage from the biopsy site.
  • Bleeding that is not countered by pressure or a bandage.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

Most needle biopsies do not require any preparation on your part. However, you may be asked to stop taking any blood-thinning medication.

Depending on what part of your body will be biopsied, your doctor will ask you not to eat or drink anything before the procedure. Preparing for sedation or general anaesthesia.

In certain cases,you may receive intravenous sedatives or general anaesthetics prior to your needle biopsy. If this is the case, you doctor will ask you to fast the day before the procedure.

Tell your doctor to abut any medication you are under before the anaesthesia. You will not be capable of returning to work immediately if your needle biopsy is done under IV sedation or general anaesthesia.

Depending on your duties you may be able to return to work in 24 hours. Talk to your doctor about when it is safest to return to work.

Make arrangements or ask family or friends to: Drive you home. Stay with you for 24 hours. Help with household chores for a day or two.

5 What to Expect

Read on to learn more about what to expect before, during, and after your needle biopsy procedure.

During the needle biopsy, Your health care team will position you in a way that makes it easy for the doctor to access the area where the needle will be inserted.

You may be asked to lie flat on a table. In certain cases, you may undergo imaging procedures, such as a CT scan or ultrasound. These allow your doctor to see the target area and plan the best way to proceed.

Imaging procedures are sometimes done before your needle biopsy and sometimes performed during the biopsy. What type of imaging you'll undergo, if any, will depend on what part of your body is being biopsied.

Your health care team will clean the area of your body where the needle will be inserted. An anesthetic may be injected into the skin around the area to numb it.

In some cases, you'll receive an IV sedative or other medication to relax you during the procedure. Sometimes general anesthesia is used during a needle biopsy.

If this is the case, you'll receive medications through a vein in your arm that will relax you and put you in a sleep-like state. During the needle biopsy, the doctor guides a needle through your skin and into the area of interest.

A sample of cells is collected and the needle is withdrawn. This process may be repeated several times until enough cells are collected.

Common types of needle biopsy techniques include Fine-needle aspiration. This type of needle biopsy uses a thin, hollow needle to draw cells from your body.

Core needle biopsy. This type of needle biopsy uses a wider needle than does fine-needle aspiration. The needle used during a core needle biopsy is a hollow tube that allows the doctor to extract a core of tissue for testing.

You may experience mild discomfort during your needle biopsy, such as a sensation of pressure in the area. Tell your health care team if you're feeling uncomfortable.

After the needle biopsy Once your doctor has collected enough cells or tissue for analysis, your needle biopsy procedure is complete. Your biopsy sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis.

The results may be available in a few days, though more technical tests may require more time. Ask your doctor how long you can expect to wait.

Your health care team may apply a bandage over the area where the needle was inserted. You may be asked to apply pressure to the bandage for several minutes to ensure there is minimal bleeding.

In most cases, you can leave when your needle biopsy procedure is completed. Whether you can leave right away or whether you'll need to stay for observation depends on what part of your body was biopsied.

In some cases, your health care team may want to observe you for a few hours to ensure you don't have complications from your biopsy.

If you received an IV sedative or general anesthetic, you'll be taken to a comfortable place to relax while the medication wears off. Plan to take it easy for the rest of the day.

Protect the area where you received the needle biopsy by keeping the bandage in place for as long as instructed. You may feel some mild pain or discomfort in the area, but this should resolve in a day or two.

6 Procedure Results

The pathologist will study the needle biopsy sample in the laboratory and make a diagnosis. The pathologist will further create a pathology result for your doctor.

You will me made contact with once your doctor receives the results. You have the right to make a request for the copy of the pathology report from your doctor.

Pathology reports are usually filled with technical terminology, so you may find it helpful to have your doctor review it with you.

Your pathology report may include the following information:

A description of the biopsy sample. This section of the pathology report is sometimes called the gross description, generally describes the biopsy sample.

A description of the cells. This section of the report describes how the cells appear under a microscope. This section may include how many cells and what type of cells are seen.

The pathologist's diagnosis. This section of the pathology report lists the pathologist's diagnosis. It also includes information, such as whether other tests are recommended.

The results of your needle biopsy determine the next step in your medical care. Talk with your doctor about what your results mean for you.

Top