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A fine needle biopsy is a test of a sample of tissue that is looked at under a microscope. It may be done to check for cancer. For the biopsy, your doctor uses a thin needle to take a small sample of fluid or cells for testing.
A fine needle biopsy is done to check for cancer or other problems. It is used to check a lump, mass, or other area of concern. These may have been found during imaging such as an X-ray, an ultrasound, or mammography. Sometimes the biopsy results help plan treatment.
If you take aspirin or another blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your test. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase your bleeding risk. In some cases, you may be asked to not eat or drink before your procedure.
You may feel only a quick sting from the needle, either from the shot that numbed the area or from the biopsy itself. If you have general anesthesia, you won't feel anything during the procedure.
A fine needle biopsy can take 5 to 15 minutes. It may take longer depending on what body part is being tested. It also depends on the type of anesthesia used or if you need to be monitored afterward.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.
Current as of: September 8, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Kara C. Taggart MD - Urology & W. David Colby IV MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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