A fine needle aspiration of the thyroid gland is a procedure to remove thyroid cells for examination. The thyroid is located in the neck in front of the trachea (windpipe).
Thyroid nodule fine needle aspirate biopsy; Biopsy – thyroid – skinny-needle; Skinny-needle thyroid biopsy
How the test is performed
This test may be done in the health care provider’s office or in a hospital. Numbing medicine (anesthesia) may or may not be used because the needle is very thin.
You will lie on your back with a pillow under your shoulders and your neck extended. The biopsy site is cleaned. A thin needle is inserted into the thyroid, and a sample of thyroid cells and fluid are removed. The needle is then taken out.
Pressure will be applied to the biopsy site to stop any bleeding. The site will be covered with a bandage.
How to prepare for the test
Tell your health care provider if you have
A few days to a week before surgery, you may be asked to stop taking drugs that make it harder for your blood to clot. Talk with your doctor before stopping any drugs. The drugs you may need to stop taking include:
- Clopidogrel (Plavix)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
How the test will feel
If numbing medicine is used, you may feel a sting as the needle is inserted and the medicine is injected.
As the needle passes into the thyroid, you may feel some pressure but it should not be painful.
You may have slight discomfort in your neck afterward. You may also have a small amount of bruising, which will go away over time.
Why the test is performed
This is a test to diagnose thyroid disease or thyroid
The thyroid tissue looks normal and the cells do not appear to be cancer under a microscope.
What abnormal results mean
Abnormal results may mean:
Diffuse thyroid diseasesuch as goiter or thyroiditis
What the risks are
The main risk is bleeding into or around the thyroid gland. If bleeding is severe, there may be pressure on the windpipe (trachea). This problem is rare.