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Thyroid Biopsy Service

How Do I Prepare and What Can I Expect 

Ultrasound-Guided Thyroid Biopsy
An ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsy is a procedure that is performed to evaluate lumps or nodules in your thyroid gland that have been detected either by a physical exam or a prior ultrasound. Tiny samples of thyroid tissue are removed for evaluation and testing. The procedure takes approximately thirty minutes to complete.  

How to Prepare for an Ultrasound-Guided Thyroid Biopsy

  • One-half hour prior to your scheduled appointment, please report to the registration desk at Lahey Outpatient Center, Danvers Diagnostic Imaging on the 1st  floor.
  • Eat a regular meal prior to arrival.
  • Bring a list of medications you usually take and any allergies you have.
  • Take your regular medications with sips of water.   Prior to your procedure, please check with your physician for restrictions regarding medications that may increase bleeding, such as Aspirin, Coumadin, Plavix, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn, Vitamin E, Ginko Biloba, Garlic supplements, Glucosamine Chondroiton, Flaxseed, Fish Oil, Feverfew, Ginger, Licorice. 

What to Expect Before, During and After the Procedure

  • Upon your arrival, your physician will explain the procedure, its benefits and possible risks, answer any questions and ask you to read and sign a consent form.
  • You will be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry in the neck area and you will be provided with a gown to wear.
  • You will be assisted into a lying position on your back.  Please let any team member know if you require any additional items for your comfort, such as a blanket.
  • The ultrasound technologist will use a smooth ultrasound probe on your neck to locate the area to be biopsied.
  • The physician will cleanse your skin at the site of the biopsy, apply a sterile drape, and inject a local anesthetic or numbing medication into the site.  You may experience some pressure or mild discomfort.  Please tell the physician if you experience any pain.
  • The physician will introduce a small needle into the thyroid module and remove tissue samples.  During this time you will be asked not to swallow or speak.
  • After the tissue sampes are collected, a bandaid will be applied to the site.
  • Following the procedure, you will be given verbal as well as written instructions to take home.
  • The bandaid on the biopsy site should be left on for one day. 
  • You will be given an ice pack that you may apply with a barrier, such as a towel,  to the site for 20 minutes out of every hour as needed for your discomfort.
  • You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for any discomfort, unless your physician has instructed otherwise.
  • A nurse will call you one day after the procedure.  Please feel free to discuss any questions, concerns or other aspects of your experience with the nurse at that time.
  • Contact the ordering physician within a week following the procedure to get the results. 

Possible Risks to this Procedure
Although not common, risks may include:

  • Bleeding/bruising
  • Adverse medication reaction
  • Infection
  • Inability to collect a sample or specimen that is sufficient for testing