Frequently Asked Questions

What is FNA?
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) or Ultrasound-Guided Fine-Needle Aspiration (USNA) biopsy is a diagnostic procedure used to investigate lumps or masses by obtaining a tissue sample using a very thin needle to extract cells for examination under a microscope. The procedure is well-tolerated, fast, safe, and convenient. No hospitalization or anesthesia is required and patients can drive and return to work immediately after the procedure. With the use of FNA or USFNA, we can now sample your lesion using a small needle, that will leave a mark no bigger than a needle stick from a blood test. Furthermore, this procedure avoids any unnecessary pain, scarring or complications, while also allowing us to make a diagnosis of your lesion within 2-3 days of the test.
How is the biopsy performed?
Prior to the procedure, your doctor will ask you some questions about the lesion: where it is, how and when you first became aware of it, and if you’ve noticed any changes in it. Next the doctor will feel the lesion, if palpable, and will use ultrasound to confirm its size and location. After any questions and concerns have been addressed, the procedure will begin. Using ultrasound, the doctor will guide a thin needle into the lesion to collect samples. After a sample is collected, the doctor will examine the slide under a microscope to check that there is enough tissue, ensuring a second visit is not necessary.
What should I bring to the Appointment?
  • Insurance card or information
  • Referring physician order
  • Identification
How long will the procedure take?
Each sample will only take about 10 seconds to obtain. The whole procedure from start to finish takes no more than 20 to 30 minutes. However, please allow an hour for your visit due to the registration process. 
When will I get my results?
Your results should be available from your referring provider’s office in 2 to 3 work days, and they will contact you with the results.

The results can be grouped into 3 categories:

  • Clearly benign (not cancer)
  • Clearly malignant (cancer)
  • Non-definitive, less clear (most often this will be followed by additional testing)
How reliable is this test?
When this test is performed by our highly skilled FNA practitioner, it is very reliable. In the instance of a clearly benign diagnosis, it may prevent you from undergoing surgery. In the case of a clearly malignant diagnosis, a treatment strategy can be planned with your doctor. In the less frequent occurrence of a non-definitive diagnosis, either repetition of the FNA or a surgical biopsy is typically recommended. 
Can I drive after the procedure?
Yes! No anesthesia is required for the biopsy since the needle is smaller than one used for a typical blood test. You will be able to drive and can even return to work immediately after the procedure. Given the relative simplicity of this procedure, there are no restrictions to your daily activities. 
Can I eat/drink before the procedure?
Yes! There are no restrictions to your daily activities. 
What complications might arise?
FNA or USFNA biopsy when carried out by an experienced doctor is virtually free of complications. Although there are no serious complications, you may experience slight bruising or tenderness of the area for a few days following the procedure. Discomfort can be relieved by an over the counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or the application of an ice pack for short periods following your return home.

If you experience swelling that does not go away, continued bleeding, a fever over 100°F, or if you experience pain that is not helped by Tylenol or other non-aspirin products, call your doctor’s office immediately.

What insurance plans are accepted?
We participate with most major insurance carriers. Please contact our office at (865) 888-7748 to verify your insurance provider.
How do I get to the Office?
Knoxville FNA Clinic

123 Fox Road, Suite 201B

Knoxville, TN 37922

Located in the second floor of the Knoxville Dermatology Group Building on Fox Road, about a 1/4th mile off Kingston Pike with convenient parking.
Take the elevator to the second floor and follow the signs to the Knoxville FNA Clinic. 

For any questions, please call (865) 888-7747