Ultrasound with FNA for Melanoma Management?

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7/11/2014 9:47am
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Hi,  My husband has a follow-up Ultrasound with Fine Needle Biopsy today along with CT scans.  Does anyone have any experience with this in their own treatment?  My husband had a WLE and SLNB in February on a 19 mm melanoma on his upper trunk.  There was no epidermal component so they couldn't truly stage him but the SLNB was negative and his scans were negative at this time and margins were clear.  I understand that they are looking for evidence of metastatic disease with this procedure but not sure if we get the results back immediately or if we have to wait, etc?

Thank you! 

Jackie (wife of John)

Jackie <3

Hi Jackie,

Good luck today.

Is the biopsy being done through an endoscope? I had an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy in February to my lung through a bronchoscope. For this particular location I was put in a twilight state with light anesthesia. I don't think the procedure took very long, maybe an hour or so including prep.

I heard mine 1 week later when I had my subsequent oncologist appointment, but that pathology report was likely completed well in advacne of that 1-week appointment. 

- Kyle

Thank you for the reply Kyle, I see that you've been through quite a bit so I really appreciate the feedback!  We go to MD Anderson here in Houston and his test schedule said he was going to get the Ultrasound with FNA yesterday but he only got the ultrasound?  So he didn't end up getting the biopsy, just the ultrasound imaging.  Not sure why that is but I'm guessing had they seen anything suspicious on the ultrasound they would have done the biopsy then, but the doctor said the ultrasound alone looked fine.  I'm not sure how sensitive/specific ultrasound is for detecting early metastates but I'm a medical librarian so I've been madly researching this morning.  My understanding is that they will monitor the lymph nodes around his original excision, since he still has him lymph nodes since the SLNB was negative?

We have a follow-up with the clinical oncologist on Tuesday to get the results of the CT scan.

Good luck with your treatments, wishing you all negative results (the good negative!)!

Jackie <3

I had one of those scheduled after something anomalous was spotted in a CT scan that doctors were unable to determine what it was, other than it wasn't scar tissue.

The procedure started with the ultrasound and there was a doctor standing by with a needle.

I remember the tech saying something to the effect of "it looks like fluid is passing through it". Two doctors and the tech studied the image and determined it was a bulging blood vessel -- a result of the lymph node surgery I'd had. No FNA was necessary. Everyone in that room was relieved, but especially me! 

Bottom line is that they were able to see quite a bit in the ultrasound. They were even able to confirm that there were no lymph nodes left in my left axilla.

Stage III, Unknown Primary; 1 positive node in left axilla; currently participating in GSK DERMA (MAGE A3 vaccine) trial

Congrats / glad his scan went well Jackie!