When a suspicious lump is found on the thyroid, a fine-needle aspiration biopsy is the diagnostic method of choice to extract a sampling of tissue for examination in a pathology lab to determine whether it is cancerous.
Ultrasound guided thyroid biopsy is a minimally invasive method of fine needle aspiration of the thyroid, in which a radiologist uses ultrasound to guide the insertion of a small, hollow needle into the suspicious area.
Needle biopsy of the thyroid is a highly accurate method of determining whether a lump is malignant (cancerous) or benign. An ultrasound guided thyroid biopsy is a painless, minimally invasive method that uses a much smaller incision and does not require general anesthesia. Recovery time is shorter for minimally invasive, image guided biopsies. No hospital stay is required, and patients are generally able to quickly resume normal activities.
Your exam will be performed by a highly trained Larchmont radiologist. You will lie on your back during the procedure, with a pillow under your shoulders so that your head is tipped back and your neck extended to make the thyroid gland more readily accessible. A mild feeling of pressure is possible from the ultrasound transducer, as well as mild discomfort as the needle is directed toward the tissue that will be sampled. The radiologist will ask you to lie very still and refrain from coughing or talking during the procedure.
A small bandage will be placed over the incision area after the procedure. Usually, the bandage can be removed and normal activities resumed within a few hours. You may experience tenderness or soreness at the biopsy site for 1–2 days. Nonprescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, are usually sufficient to relieve this discomfort.