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

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

Caring for Your Biopsy Site

  • You may have mild discomfort after your FNA. If you have discomfort, take acetaminophen (Tylenol®). If you can’t take acetaminophen, tell the doctor who sent you for your procedure. Your doctor can suggest another medication.
  • You may also have some mild swelling after your FNA. If you do, put a cold compress on the area for 20 minutes to help decrease the swelling. It is important that you take it 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 to get the results. The cells taken during your FNA are examined in our lab. Depending on the results, a sample of those cells may also be sent for more tests. If more tests are needed, it can take longer for your results to be ready.

The doctor who sent you for your FNA will call you when your results are ready. Your doctor 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 doctor who sent you for your FNA if you have:
    • Swelling, warmth, redness, or drainage in the area of the biopsy that is getting worse
    • A temperature of 101°F (38.3°C) or higher
  • If you need to be seen by a doctor right away, go to your local emergency room or to MSK’s Urgent Care Center (UCC). The UCC is located at 425 East 67th Street (between York and First Avenues). 
  • If you have trouble breathing, call 911.

If you have questions or concerns, call the Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic Monday through Friday, between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm at 212-639-5990. After business hours, on weekends, and holidays, call the doctor who sent you for the biopsy or MSK’s main telephone number, 212-639-2000.

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