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The technique of fine-needle aspiration of palpable mass lesions of the head and neck

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      This article describes the technique of fine-needle aspiration biopsy in a stepwise fashion. The aspiration procedure is broken down into three phases: The preparatory phase, which includes patient counseling, preparation of equipment and materials, and patient positioning; the actual aspiration; and the specimen handling phase, which includes fixation and smear-making. Indications for the procedure, equipment required, ancillary techniques, and potential complications are also briefly discussed. Although the techniques presented are applicable to palpable masses at any anatomic site, the discussion is tailored to the head and neck area.

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