WHAT IS THE FNA PROCEDURE LIKE?
First, the doctor will ask you some questions about the lump: where it is, how and when you first became aware of it, and if you've noticed any changes in it. Next, the doctor will feel the lump. Before the actual biopsy is performed, the doctor will give you an opportunity to ask any questions or express any concerns you might have about the procedure. After all of your questions and concerns have been addressed, the actual procedure will begin.
From the patient's perspective, the procedure will feel much like receiving an immunization injection. Prior to the FNA, the skin is cleansed with alcohol and then the area may be anesthetized with a small hypodermic needle. Many times, the area is not anesthetized for FNA because administering the anesthesia in certain areas may cause more pain for the patient than the procedure itself. Also, lidocaine (the anesthetic) may cause artifacts to appear in the biopsy specimen when examined under the microscope. Holding the lump with one hand, the doctor will sample the lump with a thin needle held in a needle holder. Most lumps require 2 to 4 samples to ensure adequate results.