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Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy
Fine-Needle Aspiration (FNA) Biopsy
A fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy is the removal of tissue, fluid, or very small pieces from a tumor using a thin needle. Local anesthetic is sometimes used to numb the area, but the test rarely causes much discomfort and leaves no scar. A small needle is inserted into the abnormal area in almost any part of the body, guided by imaging techniques, to obtain a tissue biopsy. This type of biopsy can provide a diagnosis without surgical intervention. FNA is not used for diagnosis of a suspicious mole, but may be used to biopsy large lymph nodes near a melanoma to see if the melanoma has metastasized (spread). A computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)—an X-ray procedure that produces cross-sectional images of the body—may be used to guide a needle into a tumor in an internal organ such as the lung or liver.