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Need information from anyone who has had a fine needle aspiration of lung

I am going to have a fine needle aspiration of my left lung and would like to hear from anyone who has had one.

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I might not be much help because I have never had a "fine" needle aspiration on my lung but when they saw that I had kidney cancer, they did a needle biopsy on it but I was under sedation and knew nothing.  Not sure if this could be similar or not but please keep us updated.




Hi~  It would be interesting to learn at what stage you are receiving this.   In my life, I've had two needle biopsys ... but they were both of the breast as I have fibrous tissue.


When a CT scan initially showed I had lung turmors, my surgeon, who backed up the CT data with his own x-ray (because he was nearing 70 and felt more comfortable with the x-ray I think) he said "I could biopsy you as many do - but the percentage of missed diagnosed on biopsy is too large to take that chance.  I want to put you right on the operating table and will be ready for surgery as I test it that way - and sure enough, I came out with 'lung cancer' and an upper left lobectomy.  What we learned a week later is that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes, so from there I went straight into chemo. 


So, my question to you is, when in the process is this being requested ... and what do they say about false negatives, and that could lead you into false readings making everything too late.


My second surgery, when nodules returned three years later, was with a different surgeon and there was no discussion whatsoever of biopsy.  The surgeon wanted to remove the rest of left lung but my doc and oncologist resisted and he only removed nodules - and since it is now in my lung's lining, I'm undergoing not only monthly chemo, but radiation as well.


So do tell us more~   Your lack of story is making me nervous.



Hey MEK,


I think the risk of false negatives with a fine needle aspiration is about 25%. Usually doctors do the fine needle aspiration after a CT scan and often PET scan have showed suspicious spots. It's important for doctors to take all of these things together, so good question to see what else jc has gone through! Core biopsies are considered to be more accurate if taken independently. But they are more labor intensive and probably have more risks involved. 



My first lung cancer was 4 years ago, nscl stage 1A, I had a wedge resection of the rll and all went well, after 3 yrs my surgeon said I was cancer free.  I since moved from San Antonio to Houston Texas and simply went to MD Anderson for a normal 4 yr check up.  My ct scan ( by the way the dr in SA ordered only chest x rays) showed enlarged lympy nodes and a mass on my upper left lung.  I then had a pet scan, pulmonary function, thallium stress test, echocardiogram, some other pulmonary test and lots of blood work.  The mass lit up on the pet but not the lypmh nodes.  The EBUS visually the dr did not think therre was nay cancer in the nodes but we don't have the path. back yet and he could not get to the mass.  In the meantime the pet scan lit up on my only kidney so I am have a ct with contrast on the kidney on friday then on monday the fine needle aspiration.  It seems that one test only leads to another but I think these two will be the final before the final verdict. I'm still hoping for inffection. I'm still trying to find someone who can tell me how the needle really feels

Oh okay - are they doing the biopsy on the kidney or the lung? If it is kidney, I wonder if Diana's experience will be most similar. You might not feel anything. 


I know for lung biopsies you can't have it done under sedation because your lungs are moving when you breathe. When the needle goes in, you have to hold your breath. But I've just been reading some stuff about kidney biopsies and it sounds like sometimes you have to hold your breath for that type too. 


Wish I could be more helpful. When is the biopsy? 



The Friday ct is for the kidney and the needle aspiration is on Monday for the lung.  I was afraid I would have to be awake.  I have my pre procedure eval on Friday so I guess they will tell me everything, but If you haven't had one yourself you can't tell someone how it feels.

I'm afraid I'm one of those ... can't tell you how it feels.  But I do know this.  It's over quickly.



Oh okay - lung biopsy. 


Everything I have read indicates that you would be awake, but I can't tell you for sure. Hoping someone else will weigh in! 

Hey jc,


I just looked back at your other post. You mentioned that you underwent EBUS (for those who don't know, it's Endobronchial Ultrasound). Did they get tissue samples then too? Interesting that they also want to do fine needle. I'm curious about what they are looking for.



Hi JC,


I just ran across your discussion about your fine needle aspiration biopsy.  I was diagnosed after my biopsy last June 1st, 2010.  Originally they discussed doing the bronciostopy first and if they got no good results from that they would then do the needle.  At the last minute, they decided a needle biopsy would yeild the best and quickest results; mine was for the right lung.  If you haven't had the biopsy yet, they will explain to you they will give you a local so you won't feel anything.  That was reassuring to me as I was in a great deal of pain in my back by that time. (it had been 90 days I had been waiting from my pre-diagnosis until the biopsy, so between the cancer and my mind going crazy waiting, I had tremendous back pain)


The procedure itself is rather quick and easy.  After the local was given, which was just a pinch in the muscle of my back, they had me face down on the ct scan machine scanning at the same time, they then stuck me.  Before I knew it it was over.  ALTHOUGH.....normally you would feel nothing, but in my case it was a little bit different.  I told the doctor I felt it, which I did.  I just laid there and dealt with it.  As it turned out, they were unable to get a good tissue sample on the first try and had to go in again and try a second time.  It had to have been the second try is what I felt but the doctor kept insisting I should have felt nothing.  Anyhow.....I know what I went through, so what I should have or have not felt, just didn't apply to me.


I really do believe my experience is somewhat unique and you'll find with yours it should all go easy and smooth.  There's always someone that seems to throw a wrench into the middle of things and changes it all.....lucky  But overall it was quick and easy and I'm sure the most accurate of all my tests.  Your's too will be over before you know it.


Hope this gives you a little insight what might lie ahead or what has already happened.

Best of luck, I wish for only GOOD results and God Bless.


Art - I know what you mean about someone who throws a wrench and changes it. You have no idea how many times I've had things done where the doctor (or on several occasions, the dentist!) says "oh you won't feel anything," and then I am strangely in the small percentage of people who absolutely DOES feel it! :-) They always seem surprised by this. Grumble.  :-)


My husband had a fine needle aspiration. He was sedated. So, evidently it depends on a Hospitals procedure's.

 They used a local, they only gave him enough for a few minutes, he wasn't even aware that he was ever out! He didn't feel it, and we went out for lunch afterward. He didn't have any pain afterward. There was just a little round bandaid over the site.

 He was nervous too. It was kind of funny when he came out. he said .."Well, you guys were good!..I didn't even feel anything!"  To which they replied, "You were out!"  He didn't believe him because it was so fast. From the time he left me, he was back in about 15-20 minutes smiling, he didn't realize they has already performed it!

 Hope this helps..


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