Thyroid biopsy

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Thyroid biopsy

What you need to know

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Before your procedure

Make sure that you have your requisition form and your health card with you. Learn More

Before your procedure


Preparing for Your Visit

Remember to bring your requisition form and your health card to your procedure.

 Any blood-thinning medications prescribed or over the counter, will need to be stopped prior to the procedure. These medications include: 

•    Aspirin

•    Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

•    Naproxen (Aleve)

•    Clopidogrel (Plavix)

•    Warfarin (Coumadin)

Please speak to your doctor to determine appropriate timing for temporarily stopping any medications.


•   Please do not wear jewerly.

•   Please wear loose comfortable clothing.

•   Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your procedure time.

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During your procedure

We make it a priority to ensure that you are at ease during your thyroid biopsy. Learn More

During your procedure


What to expect during the procedure?

We make it a priority to ensure your comfort during the procedure.

  • A Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy is done with such thin needles that discomfort is minimal and local anesthesia is usually not necessary. However, local anesthetic can be injected or applied to numb the area to be biopsied if needed.

  • You will be positioned on the examination table to isolate the area to be biopsied.

  • Please remain still during the procedure. For thyroid biopsies, you may be asked to avoid coughing or swallowing.

  • The skin over the area to be biopsied will be cleaned with disinfectant and draped with sterile towels.

  • Using ultrasound guidance to ensure the needle remains on target, a thin, hollow needle will be inserted into the nodule or mass in question and a syringe is used to acquire the cells, tissues or fluid to be tested.  Please note that multiple passes may be needed to obtain enough cells for accurate diagnosis.

  • Once an adequate sample has been collected, pressure will be applied to the biopsy site and a bandaid will be applied.

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After your procedure

Once the exam is complete, your doctor’s office will contact you with the results. Learn More

After your procedure


What to expect on the day of your biopsy:

  • Avoid any strenuous activity for the rest of the day.

  • Eat as you normally would after your biopsy.

  • Resume taking any prescription blood-thinning medications as per your doctor's instructions.

  • You may have some pain and swelling around the biopsy site.

  • Apply an icepack to the biopsy site for 30 minutes at a time to help with swelling.

  • Take Tylenol to help with discomfort.  Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen.

  • The results of your biopsy should be available in three to five days and will be sent to your referring doctor.  Please make an appointment to follow-up with them.

  • Please note that a repeat biopsy may be required to obtain further tissue samples.
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What is a Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy?

A Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNA) needle biopsy is a procedure that uses a thin, hollow needle and a syringe to extract cells, fluid or tissue from a lump or other abnormal area of the body. The material is then tested in the laboratory to determine the cause of the abnormality.

Why are FNA biopsies done?

A needle biopsy may be called for when a doctor feels an abnormal lump or when imaging scans show the presence of abnormalities in an area of the body. Thyroid nodules, lymph nodes and surface masses or cysts in other areas of the body are often checked using a needle biopsy.