Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration
This is likely the most important aspect of an ultrasound evaluation because the abdominal ultrasound by itself will not characterize the mass or changes noted in intra-abdominal organs.
Ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration offers a minimally invasive technique of further evaluation of changes noted during an ultrasound evaluation. Samples obtained are called cytology and are considered the step prior to recommending biopsy (removal of part of the lesion). Samples obtained via biopsy are submitted for histopathology evaluation. Histopathology is considered the gold-standard, but it often times require surgery and general anesthesia and the turn-around time is 3-6 days. Cytology only requires light sedation and turn-around time is typically 24 hours.