Ultrasound-Guided Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy of the Thyroid
An ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy uses sound waves to
help locate a nodule or abnormality within the thyroid. The radiologist
will remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. The procedure
is less invasive than a surgical biopsy, leaves little to no scarring,
and does not involve exposure to ionizing radiation.
What to Bring
- Your physician order (your physician may have already sent this to us)
- Personal ID
- Insurance Card
How to Prepare
- Tell your doctor if you are taking aspirin or blood thinning medications.
- If you wear an on-body device (insulin pump, insulin regulators, Neulasta,
other chemo/insulin devices, etc), you must inform your x-ray technologist.
Some of these devices cannot be in the room during the exam.
- Unlike X-rays, radiation is not involved with this test.
What to Expect
- You may be asked to remove clothes and to wear a gown during your exam.
- You will need to remove jewelry in the area to be examined. We recommend
leaving valuable jewelry at home.
- The room is usually dark so the images can be seen clearly on the computer screen.
- You will be asked to remain still and not to cough, talk, swallow or make
a sound during the procedure.
- During the exam you will be asked to lie on your back with a pillow under
your shoulders, your head tipped backward, and your neck extended. This
position makes it easier for the radiologist to access the thyroid gland.
- Your neck area will be cleansed. Medication to numb the area may or may
not be used.
- The ultrasound transducer will be covered with a sterile cover and sterile
gel will be applied on your neck. This will help with the transmission
of sound waves.
- The radiologist will insert a needle through the skin under direct imaging
guidance, advance it to the site of the thyroid nodule, and aspirate (remove)
samples of tissue.
- After the sampling, the needle will be removed. New needles will be reinserted
if additional samples are required.
- Several specimens may be needed for a complete analysis.
- Once the biopsy is complete, pressure will be applied to the area. A bandage
may be placed if necessary. No sutures are needed.
- Please allow 45 minutes from registration to completion of test.
Getting the Results
- A pathologist examines the removed specimen and makes a final diagnosis
and sends the results to your ordering provider.