Thyroid FNA

What is a thyroid FNA?

A thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is a procedure in which a radiologist uses ultrasound-guided imaging to perform a biopsy of the thyroid.

What can you expect during the thyroid FNA exam?

The procedure is performed with you positioned on your back on an exam table. A pillow is placed under your shoulders to extend your neck. The radiologist will insert an extremely fine (thin) needle through a cleansed area of the skin. Ultrasound images are used to guide the needle into the thyroid. The needle draws a small sample of the thyroid tissue that is sent to the laboratory for further examination.

How can you prepare for the thyroid FNA exam?

  • Tell your physician about any allergies, bleeding problems or medications you are taking. Undergo blood tests, if required. Sometimes these tests are performed to determine if you have bleeding or clotting problems.
  • Inform your physician if you are pregnant.
  • Avoid wearing neck jewelry.

What to expect after your thyroid FNA exam?

  • Resume any medicines that were being withheld due to the procedure
  • Avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for the next 24 hours.
  • If you experience any pain or discomfort, take an Advil or Tylenol every 4 to 6 hours.
  • The pathology results usually take about 3-5 business days. Contact your referring physician for the results and for any follow-up appointments.
  • If you experience a temperature greater that 101 degrees Fahrenheit, redness, swelling, or bleeding that 20 minutes of pressure will not stop, please contact your physician or go to the nearest Emergency Room.