How It Is Done continued...
Before the biopsy, you may be given a
medicine (sedative) to help you relax. Your doctor cleans the
skin over your thyroid gland with a special soap.
Your doctor may
ultrasound to guide the placement of the needle. He or
she will put a thin needle into your thyroid gland and take out a small amount
of thyroid tissue and fluid. The tissue is looked at under a microscope.
A small bandage is placed over the area where the needle was
An open biopsy of the thyroid gland is
done in an operating room by a
surgeon. It is done when other tests have not found
the cause of your symptoms. An open biopsy takes about an hour.
may be given a sedative to help you relax. An
intravenous (IV) line is inserted in a vein in your
arm for medicine and fluids. You will be asleep for the biopsy.
skin over your thyroid gland is cleaned with a special soap. A small cut
(incision) is made in your neck. A sample of thyroid tissue is taken or your
doctor can take out a lump if one is present. Some thyroid tissue may be sent
to the laboratory during the biopsy to see whether it has cancer cells. If
cancer cells are present, your doctor may take out more or all of the thyroid
The incision is closed with stitches. A bandage is put over
the stitches. Keep the biopsy site covered and dry for 48 hours. A small amount
of bleeding from the biopsy site can be expected. Ask your doctor how much
drainage to expect. Some people may need to stay in the hospital for one
Open biopsy is not as commonly done as needle biopsy.
How It Feels
You may find it uncomfortable to
lie still with your head tipped backward.
During a needle biopsy,
you may feel a quick sting or pinch in your neck.
The biopsy site
may be sore and tender for 1 to 2 days. You can take nonprescription pain
medicine, such as acetaminophen, for the discomfort.
You will be asleep and feel nothing
during the biopsy. After the biopsy, you may have some nausea and general muscle
aches and may feel tired for 1 to 2 days. You also may have a sore throat and
sound hoarse. Suck on throat lozenges or gargle with warm salt water to help
your sore throat.
The biopsy site may be sore and tender for 3 to
4 days. Your doctor will give you pain medicine for this.
After a thyroid biopsy, you may be more comfortable if
you keep your head up on a pillow when you lie down. Support the back of your
head and neck with both hands when you sit up to prevent discomfort at the