Thyroid Biopsy Procedure Information Sheet
- On your most recent thyroid ultrasound examination, a spot was identified within the thyroid gland that may have been a nodule.
- or cyst of uncertain significance.
- In order to determine the nature of the area of abnormality, a sample of the tissue of the area of abnormality is required.
- A very thin needle will be inserted into the nodule or cyst by a radiologist (doctor) using the ultrasound machine for guidance.
Preparation for the procedure
- Please wear loose fitting clothing with no jewellery around the neck.
- Please have a bath or shower the morning of the procedure as you will not be able to have a bath or shower again until the day after the procedure.
- Blood thinners: Please stop ASA (aspirin) 5 days prior to your procedure.
- Please bring a list of your current medications, supplements and allergies with you.
- You can have a light breakfast the morning of the procedure.
- Please come 15 minutes before your procedure time.
How the procedure is performed
- You will be lying on your back with support under your neck and shoulders.
- The technologist and physician will use the ultrasound machine to find the spot of concern.
- The physician will clean the skin with an antiseptic solution.
- Local anaesthetic (freezing) will be injected to reduce discomfort.
- Using ultrasound and a needle, the physician will take 1 to 3 samples of the nodule or cyst.
- The tissue will be sent to the lab for analysis and our referring doctor will receive a result from the lab directly.
- Once the aspiration procedure is complete, pressure will be applied to the area to minimize bleeding and bruising.
- A bandage will be applied and instructions about what to do afterwards will be given to you.
- You may return to normal activity after the procedure, but avoid strenuous activities the day of the procedure.
- You may drive after the procedure.
- You may wish to apply an ice pack to the area after the biopsy, which should be wrapped in a cloth to prevent damage to your skin.
- You may take Tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain with a dose of1000 mg every 8 hours. Do not take more than four doses.
- Your referring doctor will likely receive the results from the lab in 10-14 days. If you do not hear from your referring doctor's office in 2 weeks, please call your referring doctor's office.
- Please note that, rarely, an aspiration procedure may need to be repeated to obtain more tissue samples.
To download and save the information sheet as a PDF, click here.