You can’t always be there. But we can.
Doctors use needle biopsies for a number of reasons. They may perform a needle biopsy to diagnose a disease, to rule out a condition, or to see how well a treatment is working. Regardless of the reason for the needle biopsy, knowing more about it and how to prepare before your aging relative has one can make the process easier.
Types of Needle Biopsies
There are two kinds of needle biopsies. The senior’s doctor will tell them which kind they will be having.
The two types are:
Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA): FNA involves a thin needle. The needle is fixed to a syringe to draw a little fluid or a tiny tissue sample into the syringe. Depending on how close to the surface of the skin the site of the sample is, the doctor will either feel for the spot or use an imaging test to guide the needle to the proper place. FNAs don’t require an incision.
Core Biopsy: The needle used to perform a core biopsy is larger than the kind used for an FNA. This kind of biopsy requires local anesthesia and takes a cylindrical sample. Depending on the depth of the sample, a doctor might use an imaging test to locate the correct area.
Preparing for the Procedure
The doctor will provide specific instruction for the senior to follow before their biopsy. In some cases, there may not be any preparation necessary. However, your aging relative may receive some of the following instructions:
If your aging relative has been scheduled for a biopsy, a home care provider can help them to prepare. A home care provider can remind them not to take aspirin or blood thinners during the specified time period. A home care provider can also drive them to the doctor’s office to have their routine blood work done. If your aging relative is feeling nervous about the test, a home care provider can help to ease their fears by listening while they talk and offering distractions to keep their mind off it. If a family member cannot be there on the day of the biopsy, a home care provider can even drive the senior to the appointment and back home again.