An ultrasound-guided biopsy uses soundwave imaging to guide a needle into the thyroid tumors or other tumors of the head or neck and remove a small tissue sample. This procedure is generally much safer and less invasive than a surgical biopsy.
The procedure normally takes less than thirty minutes. It can be performed with local anesthesia. The doctor will lay the patient down with their head tipped back. When the neck is extended, the thyroid gland is pushed forward, making it easier to see with ultrasound technology.
An ultrasound is a safe and painless way to get a picture of something inside the body using sound waves. It is performed by placing ultrasound gel on the skin and rubbing a small transductor against it. The transductor emits high-frequency soundwaves through the gel and into the body. It collects the waves that bounce back, and a computer uses those captured waves to create an image. The ultrasound shows what is happening in the body in real time, including the internal structures, movements and blood flow of the body’s organs.
The next step of the biopsy, once the ultrasound displays the thyroid, is to insert a thin needle into the thyroid gland and extract a small amount of tissue or fluid. A bandage is placed over the area where the needle was inserted and the patient is free to go home and resume normal activities. The pathologist examines the sample under a microscope to help determine if any malignant cells are present.