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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 imaging provider 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 medical provider order (Your provider may have already sent this to us.)
  • Personal ID
  • Insurance card(s)

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 ultrasound technologist (sonographer). 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 clothing 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 sonographer 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 provider 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 the time you check in to your appointment to the completion of the test.

Getting the Results

A pathologist will examine the removed specimen, makes a final diagnosis and sends the results to your ordering provider.

If you are a provider and need to send an order, please fax it to (985) 230-6781.

Schedule an Appointment

Call us today at (985) 230-6790 to schedule an appointment.

If you are a medical provider and need to send an order, please fax it to (985) 230-6792.