During an ultrasound-guided cyst aspiration, a radiologist removes fluid from inside a breast cyst. Ultrasound helps guide the radiologist in locating the exact area of the cyst.
This procedure may be recommended to further evaluate a cyst or may be used to relieve the discomfort caused by large or painful cysts. Some cysts require further evaluation because they may have parts that are solid. These are called complex cysts. A small number of them are cancerous. Ultrasound-guided cyst aspiration is brief and causes minimal discomfort.
During the Procedure
An ultrasound-guided cyst aspiration usually takes about 60-90 minutes. The skin is cleansed and then numbed with a local anesthetic. The cyst is located using ultrasound. The radiologist directs a thin needle into the cyst and drains the fluid. You may feel a pinch or slight pressure.
If the cyst can be drained completely, the procedure is complete. If a cyst cannot be completely drained, then an ultrasound-guided breast biopsy is also performed. Following the procedure, a nurse applies pressure to the area for a short time and then covers the site with a small dressing.
After the Procedure/Getting Your Results
Please do not perform vigorous activity (e.g., aerobic exercise, climbing, vacuuming) through the following day and do not shower for the next 24 hours. You may experience some discomfort and minimal bruising. Aspirated cyst fluids may be discarded or sent to the lab for further evaluation. Tissue samples will be sent to the lab for further evaluation.
Your procedure results will be available from your doctor in approximately 2-3 business days.