Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging
Rhode Island Hospital

Cyst or Fine Needle Aspiration

If a breast exam reveals a lump, cyst or abscess that is causing pain or discomfort, a cyst aspiration may be recommended. Many times, the procedure determines that the patient has benign, fluid-filled sacs which have developed in the breast. However, a fine needle aspiration is sometimes needed to determine if a breast lump is actually a cyst. 

During the procedure, an ultrasound is used to locate the area in question. Once the area in question is located, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area, and then a radiologist inserts a small, fine needle into the lump to remove any fluid. If necessary, the contents from the aspiration are sent to a pathology laboratory for further examination.

Once results are available, your doctor will discuss any further steps. For more information on cyst aspiration, you may speak to one of our experts by calling 401-444-7770, or by emailing imaging@lifespan.org.

Learn about the Anne C. Pappas Breast Imaging Team.