PathCare Diagnostics

Frequently Asked Questions

• Interventional Cytopathology is a professional hybrid and a sub-specialty in pathology where the pathologist who interprets the cytologic smears making a diagnosis also performs the aspiration procedure making sure to obtain adequate samples, with or without ultrasound guidance. It has been repeatedly shown in the literature that better results are obtained when a competent interventional cytopathologist performs the FNA biopsy because the unsatisfactory and non-diagnostic rates are significantly decreased. Since FNA diagnosis is faster, less expensive, and often as accurate as a surgical pathology diagnosis, interventional cytopathologists are visible members of the healthcare team who help make timely clinical decisions in a more cost-conscious fashion, avoiding excessive utilization of resources and inefficient delivery of care.

• FNA is a well-established minimally invasive biopsy procedure during which a small needle is inserted into a mass (lump or nodule) identified either by palpation or by radiological instrument, such as ultrasound.

• While in the mass, the needle is gently moved back and forth for a few seconds to collect cells from within the mass.

• After the needle is removed, the cellular material obtained is expelled onto glass slides and smears can be made.

• The slides are then stained and viewed under a microscope.

• Any mass (lump or nodule) should be evaluated clinically to rule out cancer. At the FNA Clinic of PathCare Diagnostics Inc, masses of any superficial organs, such as breast, thyroid, salivary gland, lymph node, or subcutaneous tissue of other sites can be biopsied for such purpose.

• For a palpable mass, FNA is performed by inserting a needle directly into the mass.

• If the mass is not obvious on palpation, FNA is then performed by inserting a needle into the mass under real-time ultrasound guidance.

• Since the needle used is similar if not smaller than that used to draw blood for other laboratory tests, local anesthesia is usually not necessary. The needle does not cause much discomfort, but rather a sting-like feeling with slight pressure. However, if the patient is anxious and sensitive, topical anesthetics can be applied before the procedure.

• A preliminary result is always discussed with the patient after the procedure as to if the mass biopsied is benign, uncertain, suspicious, or cancerous.

• The final diagnosis is faxed to the referring physician within 24 hours if no further ancillary study is needed.

• At the FNA Clinic of PathCare Diagnostics Inc, FNA biopsy is performed by our experienced board certified cytopathologist who incorporates the clinical history, physical examination, ultrasound features, and other available radiographic studies if done with the microscopic findings so that an accurate diagnosis can be reached. The diagnostic accuracy, in this practice setting, is 95-97%, compatible with that of surgical biopsy (98%).

• FNA biopsy performed by an experienced physician is very safe. Serious complications associated with superficial FNA are rare. Infection and bleeding, although may occur, are uncommon. Most patients do not experience much discomfort after the procedure. However, small hematoma may form and localized tenderness may last for a few hours.

• There are no limitations in patients’ routine activities after the procedure.

• An accurate diagnosis can be made in over 90% of patients by FNA biopsy. However, certain types of masses, which, although they may be palpated or seen by ultrasound, contain very few cells to aspirate or the cells may be difficult to interpret. Fortunately, these instances are few (less than 5%).

• Since only a small sample is obtained, therefore it may not be representative of the entire mass, especially for the larger ones. Multiple samples from different regions of the mass will improve the accuracy.

• Dear Dr. Gu, Thank you so much for finding the abnormal (cancerous) cells in my thyroid. I had my thyroid removed. I am so pleased to have it done and over. You are the greatest!

• Hi Dr.Gu, thank you so much for accommodating my wife 's procedure the same day . We really appreciate it very much and she is doing fine . And good news you told us even makes it better.

• Thank you for the excellent care and attention you and your staff gave us. Your taking time to explain what was going to happen, as well as what to expect, made a scary experience a bearable one. Thank you for putting us at ease and giving us as many facts and information as possible, professional but personal. Thank you. My doctor had nothing but the nicest things to say about you and your staff - now we see why.

• If you discover a palpable mass anywhere in your body or if you are referred to us by your treating physician to evaluate a palpable or non-palpable mass, please call us to make an appointment at 951- 808-8863. There are three locations of the FNA Clinic of PathCare Diagnostics Inc:

1810 Fullerton Avenue, Suite 102
Corona, CA 92881


41900 Winchester Road, Suite 100
Temecula, CA 92590


17451 Bastanchury Road, Suite 104C
Yorba Linda, CA 92886