Our practice is proud to offer ultrasound-guided biopsies performed by a board-certified physician also accredited with the Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU) credential. ECNU is a professional certification in the field of neck ultrasonography for physicians who perform diagnostic evaluations for thyroid disorders using ultrasound. Our highly trained and skilled staff has performed thousands of these procedures safely and effectively.
During an ultrasound-guided biopsy, a very fine needle is placed into a concerning thyroid nodule under ultrasound guidance and a sample is taken. Ultrasound guidance allows for more accurate needle placement, improving the safety of the procedure and the likelihood that a sufficient sample is obtained.
Thyroid nodules are very common and the chance of such a nodule harboring cancer is generally small. Some thyroid nodules, however, warrant investigation for possible malignancy because of their size, other ultrasound characteristics, or the presence of risk factors for thyroid cancer such as a family history of this condition or radiation exposure.
This procedure takes only a few minutes and is performed right in our office. The sample is sent to a cytopathologist who then provides a report regarding the nature of the sample provided. Results usually take about a week to return.
Occasionally, despite provision of an adequate sample, the nature of the cells obtained during a biopsy remains unclear after examination by a cytopathologist. Such a result occurs in approximately 1 out of every 20 thyroid biopsies. In this instance, further molecular-genetic testing can be done, usually without another biopsy being necessary. Results of this further testing often help clarify the chance of malignancy and allow a diagnostic or therapeutic plan to be tailored for you.