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You’ve been told you need a percutaneous procedure to diagnose a problem in your chest or lung. This procedure allows the doctor to remove tissue or fluid (biopsy) from the chest or lung. For these procedures, the skin of the chest is numbed. Then a needle is passed through the skin.
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) is a procedure used for taking a tissue sample from a mass. First, a CT scan is done. This helps the doctor locate the mass. Then, a thin needle is inserted through the skin of the chest into the mass. Another CT scan is taken to ensure the needle is placed properly. Once the needle is in place, a small amount of tissue is drawn (aspirated) into the needle. The tissue sample is then sent for testing.
Thoracentesis is used to drain abnormal buildup of fluid in the pleural space (between the lungs and chest wall). For the procedure, a needle is put through the skin of the chest into the pleural space. Fluid is then drawn into the needle and later tested for cancer and other problems.
Before your procedure, do the following:
Follow your doctor’s instructions about eating and drinking.
Tell your doctor about the medications you take. You may need to stop taking certain medications before the procedure, especially aspirin, Coumadin, or other blood thinners.
Discuss any allergies and health problems with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant.
You receive local anesthesia (numbing medication) to keep you from feeling pain. The area where the needle goes in is numbed. Medication to help you relax (sedation) may also be given through an intravenous (IV) line.
You may have some pain after the procedure. You will be given medication to help ease any pain. You can go home after you recover from anesthesia, usually the same day as the procedure. If you received sedation, an adult family member or friend will need to drive you home from the facility. If a tube was placed in your chest to drain fluid, you will stay in the hospital for 1 day(s). Your doctor will tell you more.
Injury to other structures in the chest
Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
Coughing up blood
Shortness of breath
Fever of 100.4ºF or higher