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Fine Needle Aspiration and Core Biopsies

What is an FNA?

A Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Biopsy is a simple procedure that involves passing a thin needle through the skin to sample fluid or tissue from a cyst or solid mass. An FNA performed under ultrasound or CT guidance has the advantage of being minimally invasive. Imaging Central significantly reduces indeterminate findings through PathWest on-site cytology services. This helps to ensure that a sufficient sample has been achieved through FNA, reducing the need to have a core biopsy, or excision biopsy.

What is a Core Biopsy?

A Core Biopsy may be necessary where a larger sample is required. A different type of needle is used, and it involves making a small incision (cut) in the skin.

On-site cytology services

Imaging Central also offers immediate on-site cytology one day a week. This allows samples to be assessed immediately by a technician. This may eliminate the need for a repeat procedure to be performed.

Body Areas

Imaging Central performs FNA and Core biopsies on most requested body sites, including and not limited to:

  • Lump/nodule
  • Lymph Node
  • Thyroid
  • Breast
  • Lung
  • Liver
  • Kidney

Patient preparation

In certain circumstances, you may also be required to stop taking blood-thinning medications such as Aspirin, and depending on the part of your body to be sampled, you may be required to refrain from eating or drinking for a period of time before your appointment. We advise that you confirm with your doctor if these steps apply to you.

Who will be performing the procedure?

At Imaging Central, all FNA and Core biopsies are performed under Ultrasound or CT guidance for pinpoint accuracy by one of our highly trained interventional radiologists ensuring you get the highest quality care.

Procedure risks

As with any surgical procedure, complications are possible. A needle aspiration biopsy is safer and less traumatic than an open surgical biopsy, and significant complications are usually rare, depending on the body site. Common complications include bruising, and soreness. Uncommon complications could include infection and bleeding.

After the procedure

If you are experiencing any swelling and mild pain, you may use an ice pack or over-the-counter pain medication (apart from aspirin) to aid relief. Also we advise you refrain from any strenuous activity for 24 hours.


Bookings are required for this procedure


Results will be delivered back to your referring doctor directly by PathWest. Please book a follow up appointment with your referring doctor to discuss your results.

Online Appointments

View available appointment times for computed
tomography (CT) and ultrasound and make a
secure online appointment.