Everything About Thyroid Nodule Biopsy
A tissue sample from a nodule or lump on your thyroid gland during a thyroid biopsy is removed and examined under a microscope. This helps determine if the nodule is benign or cancerous. Your doctor may recommend a Newport Beach thyroid nodule biopsy if they detect an abnormality in your thyroid during an examination or imaging test.
There are various thyroid biopsy techniques:
- Fine needle aspiration (FNA): During this procedure, your doctor uses a small needle to collect a sample of cells from the nodule.
- Core needle biopsy: This type of biopsy involves taking a thicker tissue sample that can be taken with an FNA. It is usually done with the guidance of ultrasound imaging.
- Open biopsy: This procedure requires a small incision in the neck to remove tissue from the nodule.
These are some of the causes of a thyroid nodule:
- Goiters: Swelling of the thyroid due to an enlargement of the thyroid gland. This can be caused by various conditions such as iodine deficiency, Graves’ disease, and Hashimoto’s disease.
- Thyroid cancer happens when cancerous cells invade the thyroid gland and cause a tumor.
What happens during the procedure?
The procedure is typically done in a doctor’s office using ultrasound guidance. An ultrasound technician applies gel to your neck and uses a handheld device called a transducer to produce sound waves that create images of the tissues inside your body. This helps guide the removal of cells from the nodule for further examination.
Once enough cells have been removed, the sample is sent to a lab for further testing. After the procedure, you may need to take a few days off from work and limit strenuous activities for a few weeks.
After the biopsy, you will need to follow your doctor’s instructions for care and recovery. This includes avoiding strenuous activity, taking antibiotics if prescribed by your doctor, and getting plenty of rest.
What are the risks of the procedure?
The risks of thyroid nodule biopsy are minimal. In rare cases, bleeding or infection may occur. You may also experience pain, swelling, or tenderness in the biopsy area following the procedure.
What are the benefits of a thyroid nodule biopsy?
Below find the benefits you will enjoy from thyroid biopsy:
It can help determine if the nodule is cancerous
When your doctor suspects that a nodule or lump in your thyroid may be cancerous, they will typically recommend a biopsy to confirm their diagnosis. A cancerous nodule may require further treatment or surgery.
It helps guide treatment decisions
A biopsy can also help your doctor determine the best course of action if the nodule is not cancerous. Treatment options may include;
- Observation: An ultrasound or hormone level monitoring every 6-12 months
- Medication: Depending on the size of the nodule, medication may be prescribed to shrink it.
- Surgery may be recommended if the nodule is too large and causing symptoms such as difficulty swallowing or breathing.
It provides peace of mind
A biopsy can put your mind at ease if you have been worrying about a nodule or lump in your thyroid. Knowing the test results can help you make informed decisions and know that you are receiving the best possible care.
If you have been referred for a thyroid nodule biopsy, contact Dr. Sean P. Nikravan, MD, FACE.
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