Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy/Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)

Procedure Locations

What is Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy/Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA)?

What is an Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy?

During an Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy, sound waves are used to help guide the precise placement of a fine needle within the suspicious thyroid nodule so that a tissue sample may be extracted. This process is called Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA). At Fairfax Radiology, this procedure is similar to a blood draw.

Thyroid nodule treatment is highly dependent on the workup of the nodule and whether it is benign or malignant. Malignant nodules are typically treated with surgery (patient specific circumstances may change this). Benign nodules historic treatment options ranged from continued surveillance, in cystic (liquid containing nodules) injection of ethanol to close the nodule, or surgical removal.

A new, safe minimally invasive treatment called Benign Thyroid Nodule Radiofrequency ablation is now available at Fairfax Vascular Center (FVC). The interventional radiologists at FVC have the largest organ ablation experience in the region and are proud to pioneer the benign thyroid ablation program in the DMV area. Click here to learn more.

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Why would my physician order an Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy?

If prior imaging tests have uncovered any nodules on your thyroid or your physician suspects any abnormalities of the thyroid, he/she may recommend an Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy to test the tissues and determine whether they are benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

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What can I expect during an Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy?

There is typically no special preparation needed for this procedure. Before the procedure, your neck will be cleansed. An Ultrasound transducer will be placed on your neck over the suspicious thyroid nodule. Using Ultrasound as a guide, the Radiologist will insert a fine needle through your skin into the nodule and extract (aspirate) a sample of tissue. It is important that you remain still during the procedure. If multiple nodules are being tested, this process will be repeated. Once all of the samples have been aspirated, pressure will be applied to the area to stop/prevent bleeding. A bandage will be placed over the area if needed.

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What can I expect after an Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy?

In most cases, the Pathologist will study the tissues under a microscope and provide immediate results. In some cases, additional testing may be necessary. You should discuss the results with your physician to determine a treatment plan if needed. You will be able to resume your normal activity level after the procedure. The site may be slightly sore for up to two days.

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Will I need to discontinue my anticoagulant treatment or daily aspirin regimen?

No, you may continue your treatment as usual.

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How do I schedule an Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsy with Fairfax Radiology?

Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

Fax: 703.698.0864

Or click here to make an appointment request

Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.


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When are appointments offered for Image-Guided Thyroid Biopsies?

For your convenience, appointments are available at our Woodburn Diagnostic Center. Learn more about this location.

Have questions about your insurance coverage?