When it comes to diagnosing pediatric tumors, there are exciting developments in the medical community in the form of Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) biopsies. Several studies have proven that this type of biopsy is effective in screening and diagnosing pediatric lumps. It’s also effective for follow-up with pediatric patients who have a history of lumps or malignancy. But, what is an FNA and what type of pediatric patients is it beneficial for? Read on to find out.

Understanding Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsies

When you’re looking for a good Los Angeles biopsy doctor for your child, you want one that specializes in performing FNAs. This type of biopsy is minimally invasive, as well as cost-effective. It can be performed on a child of any age, under conscious sedation; however, children (usually 11- year- olds and up) who can tolerate a local anesthetic injection (numbing shot) can undergo an FNA without any general anesthetic or conscious sedation, right in the doctor’s office.
Once your doctor decides that your child needs a biopsy on a lump, he/she will refer you to an FNA specialist for an appointment.

The FNA doctor will go over your child’s medical history and find out more about the development of the lump. Then she will consent your child in your presence and look at the lump under ultrasound to determine its characteristics. The FNA doctor will then clean the skin and give the local anesthetic. Once the area is numb, the doctor will stick a thin into the lump, and expel the tissue onto a slide. These slides are then sent it to the lab for evaluation. The whole procedure takes approximately 20 minutes, and you usually get the results of the aspiration within one week.

Benefits of FNA

There are several good reasons why parents prefer the doctor to do an FNA on their child instead of other biopsy methods. The benefits of FNA include:

  • Accurate: FNA is an extremely accurate way to diagnose pediatric lumps and bumps. This includes small round cell tumors, reactive conditions, and other childhood malignancies.
  • Minimally Invasive: When it comes to surgery and kids, you want it to be as minimally invasive as possible. FNA is a very minor procedure, and there is a very short healing period associated with this procedure.
  • Cost-Effective: FNA is typically more cost-effective because it’s an outpatient visit and your child is awake during the procedure.
  • Reduced Risk of Infection: Unlike other biopsies, FNA has a very low risk for infection. There isn’t a large incision, and it’s easy to take care of at the end of the procedure.
  • Short Healing Time: Usually, there is small hole where the needle goes through the skin. Your doctor will cover this with a Band-Aid, and your child is able to go back to their daily activities almost right away.

FNA continues to make exciting advancements in the world of diagnosing pediatric tumors, and is quickly becoming more and more popular with parents everywhere because of the numerous benefits that are associated with it.

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Celina Nadelman, M.D.

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Los Angeles, CA 90035
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