Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic

Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic


The Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic, part of the Cytology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK), offers fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies of various palpable and nonpalpable superficial lesions (e.g., thyroid, salivary glands, lymph nodes, and subcutaneous lesions). A documented cancer diagnosis is not a prerequisite for a referral to the clinic.

Biopsies may be conveniently scheduled on the same day as the referral. A preliminary diagnosis can often be communicated to the referring clinician on the day of the procedure.

Who We Are

About FNA

What Is a Fine Needle Aspiration?

FNA is a simple, safe, and less painful way to diagnose masses or tumors. It uses a thin needle, much smaller than the needles used to draw blood, to take a very small sample of cells. A FNA biopsy can be done with or without the use of an ultrasound, depending on where the area is located in the body. An ultrasound produces sound waves that create pictures of the inside of the body. This helps to locate the right area for the biopsy.

What Are the Benefits of Having a FNA at MSK?

In addition to their expertise in performing FNAs both with and without sonographic guidance, our cytopathologists are knowledgeable in multiple areas of pathology, leading to a more precise diagnosis. The Cytology Service at the MSK Department of Pathology also offers state-of-the-art ancillary studies, including flow cytometry and molecular testing. Our pathologists’ technical and diagnostic expertise, combined with the availability of modern ancillary studies, optimizes patient care and outcomes.

How Are Results Reported?

When the procedure is completed, the MSK pathologist who performed the FNA may contact the referring clinician with a preliminary result. Final results are generally shared with the referring doctor within two to three business days. Referring clinicians deliver results to patients and talk to them about next steps.

Referring a Patient

Before a patient calls to schedule an appointment at MSK, the referring clinician should fax the following documentation to the Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic at 212-639-6318:

  • a FNA biopsy referral form
  • the patient’s sonogram report and imaging, if available
  • a copy of the front and back of the patient’s insurance card

If a referring physician has questions about a patient’s clinical indication, our cytopathologists are available for clarification. Contact the FNA Biopsy Clinic at 212-639-5990 and an administrative staff member will coordinate a discussion with a pathologist.

Scheduling and Registration

Referring clinicians should instruct patients to call the FNA Biopsy Clinic at 212-639-5990. Cytology administrative staff will collect the patient’s contact and insurance information. Patient Financial Services will then work with the patient’s health plan to take care of any authorizations needed before the FNA biopsy is performed. The staff will call the patient to schedule the visit once the insurance authorization is received.

Registration for Same-Day Appointments

Patient Financial Services will give patients the forms to complete their registration when they arrive at the clinic.

Registration for Appointments That Are Scheduled Two or More Days in Advance

Patient Financial Services will call patients to complete their registration before their appointment at the clinic. Patient Financial Services will fax or email the patient the forms to fill out.

What Should Patients Bring to Their Appointment?

  • Personal identification    Acceptable forms of ID include:
    • a driver’s license
    • a US passport
    • a resident alien card
    • a birth certificate
    • any identification document that includes the patient’s name and date of birth  
  • Insurance card
  • Prescription card

Our Location

530 East 74th Street

New York, NY 10021

Contact Information

For scheduling and registration, call 212-639-5990.

For information about parking and directions, call 646-888-6001.

For insurance inquiries, please call 646-497-9176.