What Can You Expect from a Needle Biopsy

A biopsy is a process where the tissue from any part of the body is removed to examine it for the presence of disease. Some doctors remove small amounts of the tissue with a needle while others might remove the tissue surgically when the lump or the nodule is suspicious.

How is the needle biopsy performed?

The needle biopsy is an out-patient procedure, and a patient should expect very little preparation. The doctor generally gives you all the instructions you need for the biopsy. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant. You should also tell your doctor about any medication you are taking, like herbal supplements, aspirin, and other blood thinners. You should inform your doctor about any kind of allergies you might have, especially when it comes to anesthesia.

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Your doctor will ask you not to take any blood thinners for some time just before the procedure. You will be advised on what to eat and drink for eight hours before the procedure. Leave all your jewelry at home, wear loose, comfortable clothes on the day of the procedure. Before you are taken to the procedure room, the nurse will give you a gown to wear.

An insight into the equipment

In this procedure, the tissue sample or body fluid is removed with the help of a needle and taken to the laboratory for further analysis. The size of the needle is long, and its barrel is as wide as a paper clip. This needle is hollow so that it can capture the specimen of the tissue successfully.

There are many types of needles doctors use for the procedure. The common ones are as follows-

  1. Fine needle- This needle is attached to the syringe, and it is even smaller than those needles generally used for drawing blood.
  2. Core needle- This needle is like a spring and is automatic in function with and inner needle linked to a shallow receptacle or trough. It is attached to a part with spring and is covered with a sheath.
  3. Vacuum assisted- This device uses a vacuum to remove larger parts of the body tissue.

Note, a needle biopsy is always performed under the supervision of MRI, computed tomography or CT, ultrasound, and Fluoroscopy.

What will you feel after the procedure?

You will experience a small pinch at the spot where the biopsy takes place. In case you are doing a closed or an open biopsy that involves surgery, you will be administered anesthesia to manage the pain.

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Doctors say, that in a needle biopsy procedure, you might feel sore in the region for some days. You need not worry about this as your doctor gives you medication to deal with the pain. In case you experience intense pain, you must inform your doctor to get the right advice and medicine for pain relief. You will also get aftercare instructions when it comes to taking care of the site where the biopsy was performed. Generally, you will be asked to remove the bandage that covers it a day after the procedure is completed. You can shower or bathe normally after the bandage is removed.

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