is a referral-based medical practice offering comprehensive fine needle aspiration biopsy services.

Fine needle aspiration, also called FNA, is a non-surgical procedure by which a sample of tissue can be obtained from virtually any palpable lump. FNA is a very sensitive and specific procedure for diagnosing lesions when performed and interpreted by an experienced clinical cytopathologist. FNA can be employed as a first line procedure in the work-up of most masses in adults and children

The procedure involves placing a very fine gauge needle (smaller in diameter than those used for drawing blood) into the lump for a few seconds to draw out some cells for examination under the microscope. The procedure is fast, convenient, safe and well-tolerated by patients. No anesthesia or hospitalization is required. Patients can return to work immediately after the FNA biopsy.

At Outpatient Cytopathology Center (OCC), we perform over 2,500 fine needle aspiration biopsies each year. Patients arrive at OCC from all over northeast Tennessee and western North Carolina, as well as surrounding states including Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. Full work-up of the FNA specimen is performed at OCC. Special studies such as immunocytochemical stains, flow cytometry and mycobacterial, fungal and bacterial cultures are obtained when needed. In addition to aspiration biopsy of palpable masses from virtually any palpable body site, ultrasound guided aspiration biopsies of non-palpable lesions are also routinely performed at OCC.

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