The patient experience in a cytopathologist-performed ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration clinic: potential complications and feedback

Bonnie Choy*, Amy Ly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: The number of fine needle aspirations (FNAs) being performed by cytopathologists has been increasing in recent years. As the advantages of cytopathologist-performed FNAs such as more frequent sample adequacy, appropriate specimen triage for ancillary testing, and optimal turnaround time are recognized, little has been reported from the patient's perspective. This study aimed to characterize the patient experience in a cytopathologist-run FNA clinic. Materials and methods: Patient responses were collected as part of routine post-procedure telephone follow-up. Patient demographics, clinical history, reported complications, general feedback, and procedural data were documented. Results: Of 303 patients, 126 (41.6%) were available for follow-up. One or more minor complications including pain or soreness, swelling, and bruising at the biopsy site was reported by 46 patients (36.5%). No patients required additional medical treatment. For the patients who were unavailable for telephone follow-up, review of medical records showed 158 (89.3%) had at least one subsequent clinical visit and 1 reported bruising at the FNA site. Overall, none of the 284 patients with available follow-up information reported any major complications related to the FNA procedure. All patients had a generally positive experience, specifically citing the cytopathology team's thorough explanation of the procedure, cytopathologist ability to address questions and concerns, and professionalism. Conclusions: Overall, the patient experience at our cytopathologist-run FNA clinic was positive. Minor procedure-related complications were reported in a subset of patients. No major complications were recorded, underscoring the safety of this procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-434
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Cytopathology
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytopathologist
  • Fine needle aspiration
  • Patient experience
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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