Detecting Problems With Your Thyroid

By Advanced Imaging of Port Charlotte

Detecting Problems With Your ThyroidWould you know it if your thyroid gland slowed production of thyroid hormone? Or if it sped up? The symptoms are hard to spot. An out-of kilter thyroid gland causes a variety of puzzling symptoms and many people and doctors mistake them for signs of another disease or normal aging. More than 12 million Americans have thyroid disease, many of whom don’t realize it. Fortunately, a thyroid biopsy can determine if your thyroid is functioning properly, if not the procedure can assist doctors in revealing the problem and ultimately assist in determining the best treatment plan.

What is a Thyroid Biopsy?
A Thyroid biopsy, also called a fine needle aspiration, is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed from the thyroid gland and looked at under a microscope for cancer, infection, or other thyroid problems. The thyroid gland is found in front of the windpipe (trachea), just below the voice box (larynx).

A radiologist performs the procedure using ultrasound guidance.

What is the Preparation for a Thyroid Biopsy?
• No advanced fasting is required.
• The nurse from Advanced Imaging will give you specific instructions on what medications you may take the day of your biopsy/ Fine Needle Aspiration.
• Patients taking aspirin and ibuprofen containing medications, multivitamins, garlic, or Fish Oil (Omega three)   are asked to stop these medications 5 days prior to the procedure.
• Patients taking Coumadin, Persantine, Plavix, or Platel may be asked to hold these medications after their treating physician has given consent to hold the medication.  This will be coordinated by the nurse at Advanced Imaging and your treating physician.   You will be notified what day to hold your medication.
• Attire should be a shirt and shorts, slacks or shirt.  Avoid wearing any necklaces, as this will interfere with the procedure.

Prior to the procedure, a nurse from Advanced Imaging will call to obtain a medical history prior to your biopsy, as well as a current list of medications you are taking (this will include herbal medications, multivitamins, etc.).

A thyroid biopsy procedure takes less than an hour to complete.

What to expect:
Under ultrasound guidance the technologist will locate the area to be biopsied. The Radiologist will prep the area with betadine and administer a local anesthetic. A small needle is inserted into the nodule and a specimen obtained.  This may be repeated two or three times I order to get a quality sample.

Following the procedure:
Most patients may return to work 30 minutes after the completion of the biopsy. Vigorous physical activity should be avoided for 2 to 3 days following the biopsy.

Post procedure you may experience a hoarse voice, sore throat or a slight bruise.  Should you have any mild discomfort you may take Tylenol, as this does not have any blood thinning effects.

Biopsy Results
The collected specimens are sent to an independent Pathologist for evaluation. Your physician will receive separate written reports from the radiologist and pathologist within two to seven days. It is important to keep your follow up appointment to obtain these results.

Many people diagnosed with a thyroid condition are surprised that such a tiny gland can have such a profound impact on overall health and well-being. But the thyroid gland plays an enormous role in human health. Throughout life, this busy gland is constantly producing hormones that influence metabolism and other functions in the body. It is important to know if your thyroid is working properly. A thyroid problem diagnosis and treatment could significantly increase your quality of life.

If you have any questions please call Advanced Imaging at: 941-235-4646 and ask to speak to the nurse or visit us online at

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