What is a Biopsy or Fine Needle aspiration?

A biopsy or fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a procedure performed to obtain a tissue sample of an abnormality that has been detected on a scan or on physical examination. It is not always possible to determine the cause or degree of an abnormality by looking at scans alone. This sample is sent to the pathology lab for further investigation under a microscope to determine the exact nature of the sample. This information will help to decide what the abnormality is and guide further treatment.

Biopsies or fine needle aspirations are obtained using image guidance using either ultrasound or CT.


What happens during a biopsy or FNA?

You are booked into the department upon arrival. Blood tests will be taken to check if you are at increased risk of bleeding, and a small plastic tube (cannula) will be put into your arm. You will meet the consultant interventional radiologist before the procedure to go through the risks and benefits of the procedure and sign a consent form before the biopsy takes place.

Your skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution and draped with sterile towels. Local anaesthetic is then injected around the area from where the biopsy or FNA will be taken. This numbs the area, so you do not feel any pain. The radiologist then uses a special needle to remove a small piece of tissue. The sample is then sent to the laboratory for microscopic examination. The wound site is cleaned and a dressing put over it. You will stay in hospital for 4-6 hours after the procedure, so that we can monitor you. The results from the pathology lab will take about seven to ten working days.


Why choose to have a biopsy or fine needle aspiration with Christie Oncology Imaging?

Christie Oncology Imaging has extensive experience in performing image guided tissue sampling. Our consultants are highly skilled consultant interventional radiologists who perform a large number of these procedures regularly. The Christie also provides facilities for monitoring our patients post procedure and world class pathologists to interpret the tissue samples who have extensive experience with a vast array of rare cancer types. We pride ourselves on achieving the highest possible standards in imaging, with the attention to detail and expertise required to do the very best for our patients.


How do I pay for my biopsy or fine needle aspiration?

We welcome both insured and self-pay patients