Patient Comments: Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy of the Thyroid - Experience

Question:What was your experience with fine-needle aspiration of your thyroid?

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I had a FNA two days ago and it was nothing less than painful. I did have Lidocaine, but it really didn't cover all the areas to be biopsied. The first area went fine, but the second nodule was 1.0 cm and he could not get enough tissue to put on a slide. After probing for several minutes, he called it quits. I have many nodules too small to be biopsied. He said the second nodule would have to be monitored by ultrasound – what? I think the next ultrasound there will be no biopsy; they'll just take it out. It's not worth the pain.

Comment from: jn, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

I had a biopsy last week that hurt a little. It's still really sore and bruised. My initial diagnosis was Hashimoto's thyroiditis but it's not yet confirmed. I've had lots of side effects, like fatigue, bloating and weight gain – 20 pounds in the past five months. My doctor is telling me my labs are normal.

Comment from: 2m42l, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 09

I had fine-needle aspiration (FNA) done the other day because an ultrasound showed four nodules – the biggest is 1.7 mm. The person performing it was very knowledgeable. He numbed it first (took seconds, not bad) then did three passes with the needle to get the required amount of cells. The area was sore for the next day or so, but no bruising or other adverse effects. The hardest part was when he told me not to swallow while doing it – of course after that, all I could do was think about swallowing. From start to finish it took about 20 minutes. Now I wait for the results.

Comment from: Ms. J, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I had my FNA done today. I was a nervous wreck, not knowing what to expect. The doctor and nurse were great. They walked me through the procedure and I felt no pain. I couldn't even feel when he was probing. All I felt was a little burn from the numbing medication. I did not even feel pressure. My best advice – ask whatever you need to, try to relax, cooperate, and you will be done. I hope this helps ease some of the anxiety for those who are facing this procedure soon.

Comment from: Nan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I had a fine-needle aspiration today, and it wasn't like I thought it'd be. It definitely hurt, but a hurt like I hadn't felt before. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't like it. Akin to getting a cervical biopsy, but just in your neck. I have pain, some swelling, and it kind of feels like I got poked really hard in the neck. Oh wait, I did! It helped to have some support in the room with me and the nurse and my doctor were really nice, so that's always good. I have to wait 7-10 days for the results.

Comment from: Big Sissie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 27

I had a biopsy of my thyroid and the nurse, technician and also the doctor who did the procedure talked me through it step by step. The numbing procedure was a slight stinging that lasted only 5 long seconds. The actual needle biopsy was nothing, I felt only the doctor moving the needle around. The hardest part was to keep from swallowing which was very hard since the nodule was close to my windpipe. It has been three hours since procedure and I only feel a slight soreness in my neck.

Comment from: Faye, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

I had read all the horror stories on here and was scared to death to have my fine needle biopsy done today but it was a breeze. The most pain (which wasn't very bad at all) was when he injected the Lidocaine to deaden my neck. After that I barely felt the 5 sticks which was really not pain but more like pressure. I dreaded it all this time for nothing.

Comment from: bxme, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

Had my biopsy done by an endocrinologist yesterday. Had five nodules, two were biopsied each with two needles. No anesthesia but the needles are so fine that it felt like an insect sting and then some pressure while he moved the needle to get the specimen. Each pass only took a few seconds so it was tolerable. The whole biopsy procedure took less than 10 minutes and I walked out without even a Band-Aid! Felt fine yesterday, feel fine today ... no pain, swelling or bruising. Wasn't a bad experience at all. I am glad though that I chose to go to someone who does many of these each day. Good luck!

Comment from: lisa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 17

I have a high tolerance for pain, but the idea of a needle entering my neck was a bit too much for me to handle. I asked for some sedation, and the staff were great. I was given enough sedation to calm me, but was awake and aware of everything. The needles stung a bit, but that was minimal. The ice afterwards helped with the soreness and swelling. I am still sore the next day. I suggest taking the day off of work following the procedure. My neck hurts and it is a bit painful to swallow, but nothing that some over the counter Tylenol doesn't take care of.

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