What to Expect After Your Fine Needle Aspiration at MSK’s Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic

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This information explains what to expect after your fine needle aspiration (FNA) at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s (MSK’s) Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic.

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Caring for Your Biopsy Site

Follow these guidelines after your FNA:

  • You may have mild discomfort after your FNA. If you do, take acetaminophen (Tylenol®). If you can’t take acetaminophen, tell the healthcare provider who sent you for your FNA. They can suggest another medication.
  • You may also have some mild swelling after your FNA. If you do, put a cold compress (such as an ice pack or a cool washcloth) on the area for 20 minutes to help reduce the swelling. It’s important that you take the cold compress off for at least 20 minutes before you put it back on.
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Getting Your FNA Results

It usually takes 2 to 3 business days (Monday through Friday) to get your FNA results. The sample collected during your FNA is examined in our lab for masses or tumors. Depending on the findings, our lab may need to do other tests or send out the sample for more tests. If that happens, it can take longer for your results to be ready.


The healthcare provider who sent you for your FNA will call you when your results are ready. They may tell you your results over the phone or ask you to come in for an appointment.

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When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider

Call the healthcare provider who sent you for your FNA if you have:

  • Swelling, warmth, redness, or drainage around your biopsy site that’s getting worse
  • A fever of 101 °F (38.3 °C) or higher

If you have trouble breathing, call 911.

If you need to see a healthcare provider right away, go to your local emergency room or to MSK’s Urgent Care Center (UCC). The UCC is on the 1st floor of Memorial Hospital (MSK’s main hospital). The address is:

425 East 67th Street
(between York and First Avenues)
New York, NY 10065

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Contact Information

If you have questions, call MSK’s Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic. You can reach them Monday through Friday, between and at 212-639-5990. If you’re a patient at MSK and you need to reach a healthcare provider after , during the weekend, or on a holiday, call the healthcare provider who sent you for your FNA or MSK’s main telephone number, 212-639-2000.

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