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
There is a small chance of problems from a
thyroid biopsy, such as infection and bleeding.
can be a problem for people with bleeding disorders. Aspirin, warfarin
(such as Coumadin), and other blood-thinning medicines can make bleeding more likely.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on when to call him or her with
After the test
Call your doctor immediately if
- A lot of bleeding through the
- A hard time swallowing.
- Signs of infection,
- Increased pain, swelling, redness, or
warmth around the biopsy site.
- Red streaks spreading from the
- Drainage of pus from the biopsy site.
lymph nodes in the neck.
biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of
tissue is removed from the
thyroid gland and looked at under a microscope for
cancer, infection, or other thyroid problems. Results from a thyroid biopsy are
usually available in a few days.
The biopsy shows normal thyroid
The biopsy sample shows thyroid disease
(such as inflammation of the thyroid gland), thyroid cancer, or a noncancerous
cyst is found at the time of a biopsy. Most cysts of
the thyroid gland are not cancerous.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- If you have bleeding problems or take blood
thinners. People with these conditions will get specific instructions from
the doctor before the biopsy.
- If you can't lie still during a
needle biopsy. You may need
general anesthesia for the biopsy.