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Fine Needle Aspiration

Fine Needle Aspiration

What is Fine Needle Aspiration?
Fine needle aspiration is a diagnostic procedure typically employed to investigate superficial masses or lumps. In this operation, a hollow needle is inserted directly into a mass to sample the associated cells. A Fine Needle Aspiration therefore is a type of non-invasive biopsy. 
A Fine Needle Aspiration is a very minor surgical procedure that is deemed safe and far less traumatic than open surgical biopsies. As a result of its simplicity, significant complications are seldom (common complications attached to Fine Needle Aspiration include soreness and bruising). The most substantial risk associated with Fine Needle Aspiration is founds in its expected effectiveness. Because a Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy is very small (only a few cells are extracted) problematic cells may often be missed, resulting in false negative results. Moreover, there is also the risk that the extracted cells will not be able to provide a definitive diagnosis. 
Why Would I Need a Fine Needle Aspiration?
A Fine Needle Aspiration may be employed for one of two reasons:
1. If a biopsy is performed on a tumor, lump or tissue-mass when its cancerous nature is in question.
2. For all known tumors on the body, a Fine Needle Aspiration may be performed to assess the effect of medication or to obtain a sample tissue for special observation. 
When a lump can be felt, a biopsy is performed by a surgeon or cytopathologist. In this example, the operation is relatively short and simple. In other instances, the operation may be performed by an interventional radiologist—a medical professional with training in performing these specialized biopsies under ultrasound guidance or x-rays. In this example, the operation will require additional preparation and take more time to complete. Additionally, a Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy is the primary method employed for observing chorionic villus and many other types of body fluid samplings.
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsies: Preparing Oneself
A prospective candidate for Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsies should do the following before the operation:
Do not take aspiring or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication—these pills may not be taken one week prior to the Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy
Do not eat for a few hours before the operation
A routine blood test must be undertaken two weeks prior to the biopsy
Antibiotic prophylaxis may be applied before the Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy
All blood anticoagulant medications must be suspended
Before a Fine Needle Aspiration is started, vital indicators (blood pressure, temperature, pulse etc.) should be taken. After this, depending on the nature of the operation, an I.V. line may be placed on the patient.
Fine Needle Aspiration: The Procedure
During a Fine needle Aspiration biopsy the skin above the targeted area is first swabbed with antiseptic lotion and draped with surgical towels. The skin, along with the underlying muscle and fat, is then numbed with anesthetic. After pinpointing the mass for sampling, using palpations or x-rays, the surgeon will utilize a special needle or dine diameter to pass into the mass. The needle may then be inserted and withdrawn multiple times in this area. This maneuver is employed for the following reasons:
A single needle may be used as a guide, while the remaining needles are placed along it to secure a more precise position.
Occasionally, several passes may be required to obtain enough cells for testing purposes.
Once the needles are placed into the targeted area, the cells are withdrawn via aspiration with a syringe. The collected cells are then spread on a glass slide. Following this, the patient’s vital signs are retaken and the patient is transferred to an observation area for approximately 4 to 6 hours. 
Once the procedure is finished, as is common with any surgical operation, the patient may experience complications. Fortunately, Fine Needle Aspiration will not yield significant complications. The severity of complications is dependent on the organs from which the biopsy was applied.
After a Fine Needle Aspiration, mild analgesics are employed to control post-operative pains. Aspiring should not be taken 2 days after the Fine Needle Aspiration. And since sterility is maintained throughout the operation, infection is very rare. Bleeding is the most common complication associated with Fine Needle Aspiration. Slight bruises may also be noticed. 
Fine Needle Aspiration for Mesothelioma Cancer:
A Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy may be employed to determine the presence of mesothelioma cancer. The operation is especially helpful in determining the presence of pleural mesothelioma cancer because the associated tumors will typically develop in hard-to-reach areas that would otherwise require more intense surgery. Depending on the complexity and type of the mesothelioma tumor, a Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy may be the only operation or test needed to confirm the location and presence of a mesothelioma tumor. That being said, the specifics associated with the tumor, including the size and the severity of its proliferation, will require more detailed image scans.