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What is a fine needle aspiration biopsy of a thyroid nodule?

If you feel a thyroid nodule, your doctor will initially start the evaluation by a physical exam and laboratory tests to check if your thyroid function is normal. The next step is usually a thyroid ultrasound. Thyroid ultrasound can give us significant information on the nature of thyroid nodules, but frequently a biopsy of the thyroid cells is necessary.

This can often be done in the doctor’s office with a very small needle. It does not require any special preparation and you can return to work and regular activity the same day. Your doctor may use the ultrasound machine and a very thin needle to withdraw cells from the nodule. Usually 3-6 samples must be taken to give the best chance of finding normal or abnormal cells.

These cells are reviewed under the microscope by a pathologist and your doctor will then review the results with you.

For more information go to http://www.thyroid.org/what-are-thyroid-nodules/

A fine needle aspiration biopsy of a thyroid nodule is a simple procedure usually done with the help of ultrasound. A small needle is used to collect tissue from a thyroid nodule for evaluation of possible cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.