How is a thyroid nodule diagnosed?
Thyroid nodules are the most common endocrine problem in the United States. Chances are about 1 in 10 that someone in the United States will develop a thyroid nodule. Nodules are frequently detected incidentally during a physical exam by your primary care physician or by an imaging test done for another reason. Most thyroid nodules do not cause any symptoms. Once a lump is detected in your thyroid, your physician will also try to determine if the entire gland has been affected by hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism with simple blood testing. Most people with thyroid nodules will have normal blood testing. Even though most thyroid nodules are benign, specialized testing of all thyroid nodules is required to determine which may be malignant. An ultrasound of the thyroid is the best imaging test to evaluate a thyroid nodule but it alone cannot be used to determine if a nodule is malignant.
If you have a thyroid nodule that needs evaluation, contact our office at (706) 507-7067.
Thyroid fine needle aspiration (FNA biopsy)
If you have a thyroid nodule, Dr. Alvarez, located in the Columbus, Georgia is well trained to provide the proper management. Not all thyroid nodules require immediate fine needle aspiration (FNA) thyroid biopsy. If it is indicated, we will perform the procedure in our office. After the skin on top of the nodule is numbed with lidocaine, a thin needle is inserted into the nodule 2-4 times. A pressure-like sensation is commonly felt. The procedure usually takes 15-20 minutes.
The FNA biopsy provides useful information to help determine if a surgical intervention is needed to further evaluate the nodule. There are four possible outcomes from a thyroid FNA procedure. The FNA may be able to differentiate among the major types of thyroid malignancies, each of which is treated differently. The endocrinology specialists at Inter American Diabetes and Endocrinology provide consultation, testing, and assessment in one location on one visit.