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Fine-Needle Aspiration

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FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION DEFINITION

Fine-needle aspiration, as opposed to core-needle biopsy, is a type of biopsy wherein instead of taking a sample of the solid matter of a certain organ, it instead takes the liquid or fluid portion of the same organ.

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION PURPOSE

A fine-needle aspiration is a type of needle biopsy that's done in order to rule out or detect the development of a condition or disease. It's also used to find out how a medical treatment is progressing. If you want to know how healthy your muscles, organs, and bones are, this is a viable test.

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION RISKS

The risks associated with fine-needle aspiration include: Allergic reaction to painkillers (numbness of extremities, shortness of breath, and difficulty swallowing), a feeling of faintness, excessive bleeding, and biopsy site pain, swelling, or drainage.

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION PREPARATION REQUIRED

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION
Image: FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION
It's probably best that you stop taking anticoagulant medication like warfarin or aspirin a couple of days before the aspiration. You shouldn't drink or eat before this needle biopsy method either. Aside from that, there are no further preparations save for the pain you'll experience afterwards.

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION PROCEDURE

While you're lying down, the doctor guides a fine needle into the organ he wants to examine. The fine needle then aspirates the liquid portion of the body part (it may be your lungs, your breasts, your muscles, or your bone marrow) for later examination. A local anesthetic or even a sedative may be applied to dull the pain of the procedure.

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION COMPLICATIONS

The anesthetic or sedative may produce an allergic reaction. Moreover, since this is deep penetration of your body that may even go beyond the epidermal level, you're also at risk of infection or excessive hemorrhaging depending on how recently you've taken anticoagulants or how thin your blood is. Depending on what organ is being aspirated, you can suffer from further complications like collapsed lungs, bile leakage, and whatnot.

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION SIDE EFFECTS

Pain and throbbing is the most common side effect of a needle aspiration, followed by drainage, swelling, lightheadedness and numbness of the aspiration site. As noted earlier, allergic reaction to anesthetics and sedatives can also serve as a side effect.

FINE-NEEDLE ASPIRATION RESULTS

A pathologist will study the sample in his lab. He'll then send the doctor the results, who'll in turn inform you about it as soon as possible. Your pathology report may include: A description on the healthiness of the sampled liquid, medical history information, and the pathologist's diagnosis.
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