Fine needle aspiration cytology is a procedure that uses a fine needle to poke through the skin to remove cells from a tumor for cytology to determine the nature of the tumor. From the cytology results, the doctor will decide the next course of treatment. The procedure can be performed in the clinic with or without ultrasound guidance and is quick, safe, painless, and virtually uncomplicated.


Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNA)

(Image taken from Orell & Sterrett’s Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology)

Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is the most widely used cytological diagnostic tool in the world. FNA is useful because it is a simple, quick, inexpensive, low-complicated diagnostic technique with high accuracy (sensitivity 80-100%, specificity over 99%) and can be applied across multiple agencies


When is fine needle aspiration cytology needed?

Any tumor that is palpable on physical examination or small tumors less than 1 cm suspected of malignancy on ultrasound are indicated for fine needle aspiration cytology.

Situations in which fine needle aspiration cytology  is not performed include:

– Vascular malformations

– cysts

– Diseases that bleed easily

What to do before procedure fine needle aspiration

Family and children will be consulted about the purpose, method, possible complications during and after the procedure. The patient does not need to fast before the procedure. However, for children who are anxious, fussy, and difficult to control, it may be possible to pre-medicate before the procedure.

How does the FNA technique work?

The patient was placed in a comfortable position, exposing the aspiration site.

Examining, evaluating the tumor, disinfecting the skin at the aspiration site, it is not necessary to anesthetize.