Biopsy And Drainage Specialist

Kenneth Spearman, MD -  - Vascular & Vein Center

Central Coast Vein & Vascular

Kenneth Spearman, MD

Vascular & Vein Center located in Arroyo Grande, CA

Whether you need fluid removed from your body to diagnose a health condition or relieve symptoms, chances are you will have a fine needle biopsy or drainage. At Central Coast Vein & Vascular, Kenneth Spearman, MD, has years of experience using image guidance to perform a precise biopsy and drainage procedures. If you have questions about a procedure you need, or you would like to schedule an appointment, call the office in Arroyo Grande, California, or use the online booking feature.

Biopsy and Drainage Q&A

How do interventional radiologists perform biopsy and drainage procedures?

As an interventional radiologist, Dr. Spearman specializes in using real-time imaging to guide precise and delicate procedures, including fine needle aspirations, which use a long, narrow needle to withdraw tissues for a biopsy and to drain fluids.

During a fine needle procedure, Dr. Spearman may use ultrasound or CT fluoroscopy. Both techniques produce immediate images in real-time, showing the targeted structures and the needle as he guides it to a precise location in your body.

What types of biopsy procedures might I receive?

Fine needle biopsies are most often performed to determine if you have cancer. Common sites for this type of biopsy include the thyroid gland, liver, and lymph nodes. Lumps found in a woman’s breast are also biopsied with a fine needle aspiration.

During a fine needle biopsy, Dr. Spearman inserts the needle into a swollen area or lump. Using real-time imaging, he inserts the needle into the center of the targeted area, then draws a small sample of cells and/or fluid into the needle.

The sample goes to the lab where it’s examined under a microscope to determine the types of cells in the tissue and whether they’re benign or malignant.

What types of drainage procedures might I receive?

Dr. Spearman often uses a fine needle to drain problems such as a hematoma, a seroma, ascites, or a pleural effusion.


A hematoma is a collection of clotted or partially clotted blood that causes swelling. Hematomas typically develop due to injury, trauma, or surgery.

Many hematomas gradually reabsorb into your body, just like a bruise. But depending on the size and location, some must be drained using an image-guided fine needle aspiration.


A seroma is a buildup of fluids in a place where tissues have been removed from your body. Seromas develop directly under the skin, often about 7-10 days after a surgical procedure that removes tissues.

Many women develop seromas following surgery to treat breast cancer. But a seroma can develop after any type of surgery or even after an injury.

Seromas may heal naturally, but they can cause pain, interfere with healing, and lead to an infection. For these reasons, Dr. Spearman often drains the fluid using a fine-needle aspiration.


Ascites is an accumulation of fluid in your abdomen that can be painful and make it hard to breathe. This problem may develop due to chronic liver disease (cirrhosis or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease), cancer, heart failure, or end-stage kidney disease.

To treat ascites, Dr. Spearman performs paracentesis, a fine needle procedure to drain the fluid, and in some cases, to perform a biopsy of the fluid.

Pleural effusion

Dr. Spearman performs a fine needle procedure called thoracentesis to drain excess fluid from around your lungs. This condition, called pleural effusion, is frequently caused by heart failure and lung infections or tumors.

Like paracentesis, thoracentesis is performed to relieve your symptoms and to withdraw a biopsy sample.

If you need a biopsy or drainage procedure, call Central Coast Vein & Vascular or book an appointment online.