thyroid biopsy

What is a Thyroid Biopsy?

A thyroid biopsy, also called a thyroid fine needle aspiration (FNA), is a procedure used to diagnose thyroid disorders. During the biopsy, a small sample of cells from the thyroid is taken and examined under a microscope. The biopsy can help in diagnosing thyroid nodules, an enlarged thyroid gland, and cancerous or non-cancerous growths in the thyroid.

What to Expect During a Thyroid Biopsy

A thyroid biopsy typically takes about 15 to 30 minutes. Here’s what you can expect:

  • The procedure is usually done in the physician’s office or an outpatient clinic.
  • The doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around your thyroid before inserting the needle.
  • Once the anesthetic takes effect, the doctor will use an ultrasound machine to guide a small needle into the thyroid tissue.
  • Using vacuum suction, the doctor takes a sample of cells from the thyroid and sends them for examination.
  • The doctor may take multiple samples of cells, usually 5 to 10.
  • Once the tissue has been retrieved, the doctor will remove the needle and use a dressing to cover the biopsy area.

After the Thyroid Biopsy Procedure

The doctor will send the samples to the laboratory for examination. The results may take 1 to 2 weeks to be available. Your doctor can help interpret the results and may order additional tests to confirm their diagnosis.

Risks of a Thyroid Biopsy

Thyroid biopsy is a safe procedure, but some risks are associated with it. These include:

  • Pain and discomfort: Though the anesthetic prevents pain, you may experience some discomfort.
  • Bleeding: Bleeding and bruising may occur, but is usually minor.
  • Infection: Though rare, it is possible to develop an infection at the biopsy site.
  • False results: In rare cases, the results may be false due to an inadequate sample being taken.

A thyroid biopsy can help diagnose thyroid nodules, an enlarged thyroid, or cancerous or non-cancerous growths in the thyroid. Although it comes with some risks, it is a safe procedure. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about the procedure.

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Keywords: Thyroid Biopsy, Thyroid Nodules, Enlarged Thyroid, Cancerous Growth, Non-Cancerous Growth, Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)

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