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How Is A Thyroid Biopsy Done

What Happens To The Thyroid Tissue Obtained During A Fine

Thyroid Nodule Biopsy

After the procedure, the tissue obtained is prepared onto glass slides and sent to the pathologist for evaluation. First, the pathologist determines whether or not enough thyroid tissue has been obtained for analysis. After analysis, the tissue is classified. Although the classifications used by pathologists vary, the tissue is usually reported as benign malignant suspicious or indeterminate. The chance of a false-negative test varies from 0%-5%, depending on where the test is performed. The chance of a false positive is less than 5% and is usually due to the presence of degenerating cells or atypical cells. These results are reported back to the doctors office, usually within 1 week. At this point, the doctor discusses the implications of the report and outlines further treatment, if needed based on the results.

How Long Does It Take To Get The Results Of A Fine

A fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the thyroid gland is an effective method to determine whether or not a thyroid nodule is cancer. The procedure is relatively simple procedure that is usually performed in a doctors office and usually takes less than 20 minutes. Complications are rare but include bleeding, bruising, and infection. Results are generally available within 1 week and help determine what further interventions or treatments are needed.

When To Expect Results From A Fine Needle Aspiration

You can expect results within two to three days of the test, possibly sooner. Fine needle aspiration is an outpatient procedure performed in a doctors office or a medical clinic that has professionals trained in the technique and access to a pathology lab that can examine the fluid collected. 5

WHAT IS A FINE NEEDLE ASPIRATION BIOPSY OF A THYROID NODULE? A fine needle aspiration biopsy of a thyroid nodule is a simple and safe procedure performed in the doctors office. Typically, the biopsy is performed under ultrasound guidance to ensure accurate placement of the needle within the thyroid nodule.

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How Can You Prepare For Your Thyroid Fna

Most medications can be continued. However, anticoagulants, also called blood thinners, often need to be stopped temporarily in anticipation of your thyroid biopsy. These medications can increase the risk of bleeding. It is common to receive specific instructions regarding when to stop taking medications from your doctors office prior to the procedure. If you have any questions about taking your medications prior to the thyroid biopsy, be sure to talk to your doctor.

Generally, you will not be required to be fasting on the day of your appointment. During the thyroid biopsy, ultrasound gel will be applied to the neck to obtain ultrasound images. This gel is water soluble and non-toxic, but may get on clothing or jewelry. You may wish to wear comfortable clothing and take off any jewelry from around the neck for the procedure.

After Your Needle Biopsy

thyroidectomy technique

You can get dressed and go about doing your normal activities straight afterwards. Avoid doing anything too strenuous for the rest of the day.

You will have a small dressing where the needle was.

Your doctor or nurse will tell you how to look after this area and the dressing. Ask if you can bath and shower as normal. You might see some bruising at the site. This is normal, it will go after a week or two. Paracetamol can help if youre sore or tender.

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What Do I Need To Know About Thyroid Fine

Thyroid fine-needle aspiration biopsy is a procedure to remove tissue and fluid from a nodule in your thyroid gland. This test helps your healthcare provider diagnose thyroid cancer or find thyroid nodules that are not cancer. Your healthcare provider uses the results to decide if you need more treatment.

How Do I Prepare For A Thyroid Fna

A thyroid FNA is a day procedure for most people. It takes up to half an hour, followed by a short period afterwards when you will be watched until you have recovered and can leave the hospital or radiology practice. You are generally allowed to resume normal, but non-strenuous, activities for the rest of the day.

You can eat and drink normally before and after the procedure. You will not require a general anaesthetic where you would be asleep, although you may be given local anaesthetic to numb the area of the skin where the FNA needle is inserted.

When you make your appointment for the thyroid FNA, you need to let the hospital radiology clinic or department know if you are taking any blood thinning medication, such as warfarin, clopidogrel, dabigatran, prasugrel, dipyridamole or asantin .

Blood thinning medications will need to be stopped for a period of days, or your normal dose reduced, before this procedure is carried out. It is very important that you do not stop any of these medications or change the dose without consulting both your own doctor and the hospital or radiology clinic where you will have the FNA. They will give you specific instructions about when to stop and restart the medication. These drugs are usually prescribed to prevent stroke or heart attack, so it is very important that you do not stop taking them without being instructed to do so by your doctor or the radiology practice, or both. Aspirin is usually not stopped.

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Why Might I Need A Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy

You might need the test to see whether your nodule is cancerous. You might have noticed the nodule yourself, or your healthcare provider might have noticed it during an exam or on another test.

Researchers do not know what causes most thyroid nodules. They are very common, though. Certain problems with the thyroid gland, like Hashimoto thyroiditis, may increase your chances of getting a thyroid nodule. Thyroid nodules are much more common in women than in men. Nodules tend to grow during pregnancy. People who have had radiation treatments to their neck are also more likely to develop nodules. Your risk of developing thyroid nodules or thyroid cancer is increased if members of your family have already had thyroid and certain other cancers.

Only a small percentage of thyroid nodules turn out to be cancer. It is important to identify a cancerous nodule as soon as possible, so that you can begin treatment quickly.

Not everyone who has a thyroid nodule needs a fine needle aspiration biopsy. Your healthcare provider may start with an ultrasound or computed tomography scan of your neck. Sometimes, this provides enough information to know that the nodule isnt due to cancer. Blood tests of thyroid levels also may provide helpful information. If your healthcare provider cant tell for sure, youll probably need a thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy.

Interpretation Of The Results

Preparing for your thyroid biopsy – UF Health Endocrinology in Jacksonville
  • Benign Nodule This means that cancer has been ruled out. In this case it could be due to thyroiditis, hyperplasia, fluid accumulation in form of a cyst.
  • Malignant The nodule is cancer. There are four types of thyroid malignancies.Papillary carcinoma is the most common comprising the 80% of thyroid malignancies and it tends to spread in lymph nodes. It is the easiest to treat and has very good prognosis.Follicular carcinoma appears more frequently in people living in areas with low iodide. It is more likely to spread to lungs or bones.Hurthle cell carcinoma is a type of follicular carcinoma and accounts for 3% of all thyroid cancers.Medullary carcinoma comprises the 4% of all thyroid cancers and is more aggressive than follicular and papillary types because it can spread to organs and nearby lymph nodes.Anaplastic carcinoma is very rare as it accounts for the 1% of thyroid malignancies. It has an extremely malignant potential and does not respond to any kind of treatment.
  • Inconclusive Diagnosis The type of nodule could not be identified. This means that either the FNA should be repeated or the thyroid should be surgically removed.
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    When Do You Need A Thyroid Biopsy

    Although thyroid biopsy results can indicate goiter or thyroid nodules, it is not always necessary for thyroid disease diagnosis for example, in Graves disease, blood tests and imaging studies are enough to find evidence for disease differentiation.

    Sometimes the radiologist may find it necessary to do more examinations for any thyroid nodule with diameter larger than one centimeter, especially in cases of solid, firm and calcified nodules with indistinct borders in imaging studies.

    Also, if the patient suffers from intense pain in his/her thyroid and the gland is growing rapidly, the radiologist may want to perform thyroid biopsy despite the lack of thyroid nodule.

    What To Think About

    • A normal report on a thyroid biopsy does not mean for sure that the thyroid gland is healthy. It is possible that a problem may have been missed. Many thyroid tumours are small, and the biopsy sample may come from an area of the thyroid that is free from disease. A fine-needle biopsy can have a false-negative result.
    • Your doctor may not be able to use a needle biopsy to find out what is causing your symptoms. An open thyroid biopsy may be needed.
    • If a thyroid nodule is found and thyroid hormone levels are normal, most doctors recommend a thyroid needle biopsy instead of a radioactive thyroid scan.
    • Thyroid Scan
  • If a thyroid nodule is found and high thyroid levels are present, a radioactive iodine uptake test and a thyroid scan are generally recommended before a thyroid biopsy. Nodules that cause hyperthyroidism are generally non-cancerous and can be treated with medicine or radioactive iodine. To learn more, see the topic Radioactive Iodine Uptake Test.
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    Thyroid Nodule Biopsy: Cancer Of Thyroid Nodules Is Diagnosed By Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy

  • FNA is an abbreviation for Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy. This is a common test performed thousands of times per day on people with thyroid nodules.
  • FNA is a type of biopsy. A biopsy is the removal of some cells from the body so they can be looked at under a microscope to see if the cells are cancerous.
  • The only purpose of a FNA biopsy is to get cells from the thyroid to look at under a microscope. If not enough cells are removed, the test is worthless or not diagnostic .
  • Thus, FNA is used to diagnose thyroid cancer in a patient with a thyroid nodule that is suspicious for cancer .
  • FNA biopsy can also be done on lymph nodes in the neck which are around the thyroid to see if there are any thyroid cancer cells inside the lymph nodes.
  • Ultrasound allows the doctors to see the thyroid nodule or lymph node during the needle biopsy, which helps make sure they are getting the needle stuck into the right areas.
  • FNA biopsy is the same as: needle biopsy of thyroid, FNA needle biopsy, FNA of thyroid, etc. They are all the same thing so don’t be confused.
  • What Are The Risks Of Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy

    Fine Needle Biopsy of thyroid done at ENGLEWOOD HOSPITAL ...

    Thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy is a very safe procedure, but it does carry some slight risks. These include:

    • Bleeding at the biopsy site
    • Infection
    • Damage to the structures near the thyroid

    Because most healthcare providers use ultrasound to guide the procedure, this last complication is rare.

    There is also a small risk that the fine needle aspiration biopsy will not show for sure whether the nodule is cancerous. If this happens, you might need a repeat biopsy.

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    Comparison Between Fna And Fnc

    It has been proposed that FNC reduces trauma to cells and tissues, resulting in less pain, less haemorrhage and specimens of higher quality however, this was not proved in all studies. Similarly, some authors found higher, while others comparable adequacy rates between FNA and FNC. In a meta-analysis, no method was found superior to the other. No study has directly compared the complication rate between FNA and FNC.

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    What Happens During A Fine Needle Aspiration Of The Thyroid

    Before the procedure begins, you may need to put on a gown.

    When the procedure begins, your doctor will ask you to lie down. You will feel a cold sensation as your doctor cleans your neck with iodine or another solution that kills any harmful germs that may be on your skin. In some cases, your doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the area, but this isnt always necessary.

    Next, your doctor will insert a small needle into the nodule. You should not talk, swallow, or move while this happens. Your doctor will repeat this a few times to make sure they have a large enough sample for the analysis.

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    What Is The Difference Between A Core Biopsy And A Needle Biopsy

    There are a few differences between the two. A core needle biopsy is done with a larger needle and a small incision is made in the skin above the area to be biopsied. The incision allows for easier insertion of the needle, but is not needed when performing an FNA because the needle used is very thin.

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    What Is The Thyroid Gland

    Thyroid Biopsy Experience, How Was it?

    The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland that is normally located in the lower front of the neck. The thyroids job is to make thyroid hormones, which are secreted into the blood and then carried to every tissue in the body. Thyroid hormones help the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working as they should.

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    Preparing For Your Test

    You are able to eat and drink normally before a biopsy. Take your medicines as normal. But if you are taking any blood thinning medicines you might need to stop them before the test. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to stop.

    You will need to remove any clothing around your neck such as a tie or scarf. You will also be asked to remove any jewellery such as a necklace or chain.

    You will lie on your back on a couch. Your chin will be lifted a little to keep your neck clear.

    General Conditions For Best Outcome A Synopsis

    Clinical assessment before FNB is essential to select patients at greater risk for complications and choose the best technique . It is suggested that the physician should previously describe the procedure and its potential complications to the patient and reassure him for the simplicity of the procedure and the rarity of serious complications.,

    If rapid cytological evaluation during the procedure is not feasible, multiple passes should be performed. There are not enough data to assess the role of the number of passes on diagnostic accuracy and safety. However, no more than 5 passes are recently recommended, because of the small increase in adequacy rate and the potential increase in morbidity and trauma with additional passes. Since increasing diameter of the needle increases the incidence of complications,, without affecting adequacy rate, the use of a 25-G needle with or without aspiration is recommended for solid nodules. FNC may be a better choice for complex nodules. A 23-G needle should be used in cystic nodules, to evacuate as much of the fluid as possible.

    Expertise in any level of the procedure is critical for good results. In medical centres with long-standing experience diagnostic accuracy is increased., , Not only may lack of expertise be accompanied by a high complication rate, but may also lead to a high failure rate, which in turn increases surgery rate and associated complications and morbidity.

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    What Does A Thyroid Biopsy Consist Of

    A thyroid biopsy is a procedure used to diagnose different diseases affecting this gland. The thyroid is an organ located in the front part of the neck, in front of the trachea. Its responsible for producing hormones that play a fundamental role in the control of metabolism.

    A thyroid biopsy involves removing a sample of thyroid tissue. Specialists then examine this sample in the laboratory and analyze it under the microscope.

    As weve pointed out in the introduction, there are different ways of performing it. The most common is fine-needle aspiration biopsy. In these cases, it usually takes place on an outpatient basis using only local anesthesia.

    However, other techniques do require general anesthesia and are somewhat more complex. The idea is to obtain part of the tissue of nodules that have appeared. In general, samples are taken from those that can be palpated through the skin.

    As a publication in RadiologyInfo states, the nodules from which the samples obtained are usually somewhat larger than 1 centimeter. To be able to perform this test in a safer or more specific way, doctors perform an ultrasound scan at the same time. This makes it easier to locate the exact position of the nodules, especially if theyre small.

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    What Are The Benefits Vs Risks

    Thyroid Biopsy by Alexander Shifrin, MD


    • The results of needle biopsy of the thyroid are close to 95% accurate for adequate biopsies.
    • Needle biopsy is a reliable method of obtaining tissue samples that can help diagnose whether a nodule is benign or malignant.
    • A needle biopsy is less invasive than open and closed surgical biopsies, both of which involve a larger incision in the skin and local or general anesthesia.
    • Generally, the procedure is not painful and the results are as accurate as when a tissue sample is removed surgically.
    • Recovery time is brief and patients can soon resume their usual activities.


    • Bleeding at the site of biopsy.
    • Injury to structures adjacent to the thyroid.

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