What are the treatment options for thyroid cysts?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Administration Specialist

Most thyroid cysts are benign or noncancerous and require no treatment. However, they should be checked by your doctor on a regular basis, such as every six or twelve months. Your doctor might want to do another biopsy or ultrasound, especially if the cyst increases in size. In some cases, doctors treat benign thyroid nodules with a drug called levothyroxine, which suppresses a hormone that stimulates thyroid tissue growth, but this treatment for benign growths is controversial because its necessity and efficacy are subject to debate. In rare cases, a thyroid cyst might be large enough to cause problems with other structures in the neck, such as difficulty swallowing or breathing. In those cases, surgical removal of the cyst is often an option.

Following are treatment options for thyroid cysts:

  • Large cysts, greater than 3 centimeters, that have a solid component should be aspirated. 
  • Pure cysts, smaller than 3 centimeters, may be followed with an exam and ultrasound to assess for change. 
  • Alternative management includes ablative methods such as the instillation of ethanol. 
  • Surgery is utilized if the individual becomes symptomatic.

Rarely there may be a complete spontaneous resolution of a thyroid cyst.

Continue Learning about Thyroid


A member of our endocrine system, the thyroid gland produces hormones that help control many of our body functions, such as weight and temperature.Located at the base of our neck, this butterfly-shaped gland makes several hormones...

, which are collectively known as thyroid hormones. These hormones are especially key in the brain development of infants and children. Thyroxine, also known as T4, is the primary hormone secreted by the thyroid gland; this hormone helps control our metabolism, a chemical process that turns our food into energy. A lack of iodine in your food can cause the thyroid to swell, a condition called a goiter. Several other disorders and diseases can affect this gland, including cancer. If you notice swelling in your neck or feel a lump, make sure you see your doctor; this could indicate a problem with this important gland.

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.