Thyroid Aspiration or Biopsies

When a suspicious lump is found on the thyroid, a fine-needle aspiration biopsy is the diagnostic method of choice to extract a sampling of tissue for examination in a pathology lab to determine whether it is cancerous.

Ultrasound guided thyroid biopsy is a minimally invasive method of fine needle aspiration of the thyroid, in which a radiologist uses ultrasound to guide the insertion of a small, hollow needle into the suspicious area.

What to expect

You will lie on your back during the procedure, with a pillow under your shoulders so that your head is tipped back and your neck extended to make the thyroid gland more readily accessible. A mild feeling of pressure is possible from the ultrasound transducer, as well as mild discomfort as the needle is directed toward the tissue that will be sampled. The radiologist will ask you to lie very still and refrain from coughing or talking during the procedure.

On the day of your exam

Please arrive approximately 15 minutes prior to your appointment time to allow for parking and registration. If you bring friends or family to the appointment they will be asked to have a seat in a waiting room during your test. Children cannot be left unattended during the test, so please arrange for a caregiver.

After the procedure

A small bandage will be placed over the incision area after the procedure. Usually, the bandage can be removed and normal activities resumed within a few hours. You may experience tenderness or soreness at the biopsy site for 1–2 days. Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, are usually sufficient to relieve this discomfort.


Our pathologist prepares a pathology report that is sent to your practitioner, from whom you may obtain the results. If you have any questions regarding this procedure, please contact our department at at 608-342-4740.

Date of appointment _______________________________________ Time_____________________

Your procedure will be performed at Southwest Health at 1400 Eastside Road – Platteville, WI 53818. Please use the Main Hospital Entrance and check in at the Registration Desk prior to your scheduled procedure.

If you cannot keep your appointment please contact the radiology department at 608-342-4740 so that me may accommodate another patient.

NOTE: It may take 2-3 days to obtain verification from your insurance company for exams that require prior authorization, such as CT, MRI, Nuclear Stress, Injections, etc.