Biopsies and Aspirations in El Paso - Performed Directly by Dr. Sarmiento

Professional Radiology is proud to be El Paso’s source for high-quality biopsies and fine-needle aspiration services. If you or your physician discover a lump during a self-check or mammogram, it could mean many things. Some of the results are simply abnormal growths or liquid build-up, but they could also be cancerous. Through biopsies and aspirations, we can help diagnose issues and determine the treatment, if necessary. Our very own Dr. Sarmiento performs and diagnoses all of our patients. You have the security of having a proven professional run your tests and follow up with you.  

Why You May Need a Biopsy or Aspiration 

If you feel concerned or worried about an abnormality you recently discovered, then we’re here to help. There are measures we take to discover the cause and the type to provide a proper diagnosis. 

  • Breast Biopsy — A breast biopsy is a procedure to collect samples for testing to discover cancerous findings. Biopsies are only a sample and can help detect cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages. 
  • Breast Aspiration — A breast aspiration occurs when the discovered lump appears to be a fluid-filled cyst. During the aspiration, a radiologist will use a needle to puncture and drain the fluid inside. This will cause the lump to disappear.  
  • Thyroid biopsies — To discover and treat a thyroid abnormality, an ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy uses soundwaves to detect abnormalities in the thyroid and remove a sample for examination.
  • Thyroid Aspirations — A needle biopsy is also known as a needle aspiration. This involved removing cells with a hollow needle from the abnormal area for examination. 
  • Biopsies and aspirations of the lymph nodes — Lymph nodes are part of hundreds of organs spread out in your body and help filter things out like germs. Getting a lymph node biopsy is much like giving blood but with a thin hollow tube in the center of the needle.  

The Importance of Biopsies

Biopsies have several purposes that are beneficial to your health and well-being. 

  • A needle biopsy has proven to be a reliable method of obtaining samples of tissue that help diagnose if the same is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant. 
  • The overall results of getting a needle biopsy done for thyroid stand at about 95% accuracy for adequate biopsies. 
  • A needle biopsy is a less invasive approach than the usual surgical biopsies. It can involve a larger incision in the skin and anesthesia, causing more preparation and risks for the operation. 

Fine-Needle Aspirations Explained

Fine-needle aspiration is a type of biopsy in which a thin needle passes through the skin in order to pull sample cells from fluid or tissue from a cyst or palpable mass. Aspirations are typically required when a suspicious lump is found on the body, most often in breasts or lymph nodes, or discovered by x-ray, ultrasound, or mammography. The needle used for a fine needle aspiration has a hollow interior, somewhat similar to what is used for blood tests. A vacuum is created once inserted to pull the cell sample to be examined. 

Preparing for Your Biopsy

Biopsies require little to no preparation. Just inform your doctor of any medications, especially blood thinners such as aspirin, Lovenox, Plavix, or Coumadin. Sometimes, a blood test may be required before the procedure. 

When You Can Expect Your Results

The results of your biopsy can typically be ready between 1-3 days after the extraction. Some complicated samples can take up to 7 to 10 days. Your doctor can explain your results and any complications that may occur during your follow up. 

FAQs About Biopsies and Aspirations

Some of our most common questions about biopsies and aspirations are found below. If you have any other questions or concerns contact us today. 

Why Are Biopsies Done? 

Biopsies are typically done to look for cancer but can identify other medical conditions. There are various types of biopsies done, depending on the location of the abnormality found. 

What Happens After The Biopsy? 

Once the tissue cells are extracted, a pathologist examines the tissue and notes the cell types, shape, and activity to diagnose the problem. 

What Are The Possible Results?

In general, biopsies and aspirations can yield one of the following six results.

  1. Benign – These results generally do not need to be removed and can be monitored by ultrasound.
  2. Malignant (cancer) – If a biopsy result comes back as malignant, it’s a high chance that it is cancerous. Almost all of these nodules will lead to surgery (thyroidectomy), though monitoring without surgery can be an option depending on some circumstances. 
  3. Suspicious for malignancy – When worrisome features show, but the sample is not named as cancer. The treatment is typically surgery.
  4. Atypia of Undetermined Significance or Follicular Lesion of Undetermined Significance – These samples have some abnormal features, but the risk of cancer is low. A repeat biopsy is the typical follow up. 
  5. Follicular Neoplasm — Also known as “suspicious for follicular neoplasm” occurs when it is difficult to tell if these nodules are cancerous or not based on the appearance of the cells alone. Surgery may be needed to make a diagnosis. 
  6. Non-diagnostic – These samples do not have enough findings to obtain a diagnosis. A biopsy is usually asked to be repeated.

How Often Are Results Cancerous?

60 to 80% of biopsies and aspirations are typically just an abnormality and non-cancerous.

What Is The Procedure Like?

Depending on the abnormality’s location, when getting biopsies and aspirations looked at, you may feel some pressure from the ultrasound and mild discomfort from the needle obtaining cells. 

Contact Us Today to Schedule Your CT Scan!

If you have any questions or concerns, contact us today for an examination. Any abnormalities found, or anything that may seem concerning should be examined as soon as possible. Come to our offices, or contact us today!