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

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

Comment from: Tired of Tests, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 05

I had my 4th fine-needle aspiration biopsy in 14 years. Earlier ones were done without any numbing, one of which was horrible, into a very deep area and felt like needle went through to the other side of my neck! It was very traumatic. None have been an easy experience and have been negative for cancer. I sometimes wonder if they are done too frequently. You get through what you have to, but I hope I won't need any more.

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Comment from: RMLIFE, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I have just returned home from my fine-needle aspiration (FNA) for a thyroid nodule on left side. I too read that this was not supposed to hurt. Doctor started with three insertions (#1, 2, 3), then had to redo two of them (#4, 5) as there was not enough sample. I did receive an anesthetic, but he barely waited for it to take effect (he said it only needed 30 seconds) when he started with the #1. I felt every single one as it entered my skin initially. Once he started 'pumping' there was only pressure with #1, a bit more pressure with slight pain with #2, and I about hit the roof with #3. I felt a very sharp pain as well as it felt like it was going down my esophagus. When he did #4, it felt like #1, but when he did #5 it felt like #3 but not as painful. This tells me he did not wait long enough for the anesthetic to fully take effect or didn't give me a strong enough dose. I don't know if I was supposed to feel any numbness when I was given the anesthetic, but I did not feel anything go numb. I thought I was only supposed to feel pressure, not pain.

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Comment from: Texaswoman 53, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 12

I had my first fine-needle aspiration biopsy today. There were 4 nodules in my thyroid, larger than 2 cm. There was nothing used to deaden my neck. The doctor took two biopsies of each nodule. I did take a few Xanax before and it helped with the anxiety but not the pain. The first three felt like someone drawing blood who didn't know what they were doing. It did hurt. The last one did hurt because he had to go through a vein. I didn't cry but wanted to. Now I have a huge hickey on my neck. Now the dreaded 5 day wait for the results.

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Comment from: Miki, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 15

I had a fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNB) of my thyroid yesterday. I was terrified based on information I read but it wasn't bad at all. Just relax and it's over with in minutes. My doctor was funny and distracted me from the moment she started. Can you feel it? Yes, but it's not painful, just pressure. You can do it! So if you're told you need an FNB on your thyroid, don't focus on it too much. It's not that bad. I'm sorry for everyone else that had a difficult time.

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Comment from: Asha, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

I had just one small nodule and the fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid wasn't painful at all. But after some time it began to hurt me and now even after a week I feel the pain when I swallow.

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Comment from: greenid1, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I had a fine-needle aspiration biopsy on Friday, 1 lidocaine, and 4 draws. I wasn't nervous but I must say that the feeling that he was using a jackhammer was a bit unsettling. I had a reaction to the Band-Aid and have a nice welt on my neck in the shape of one. But my biggest concern was the feeling of soreness on one side of my trachea (windpipe) and the feeling that I have an earache.

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Comment from: mackmom, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 13

I just had my first fine needle aspiration thyroid biopsy. It was horrific. I wasn't prepared for that much trauma. The nurse practitioner had had it done and told me it was like 2 bee stings. After an hour of needle poking and prodding and horrible pain and pressure the procedure ended. I had tears streaming down my face. I couldn't control it. The nurse practitioner apologized saying hers was nothing like that. Apparently mine were deep. Could it be parathyroid tumors protruding out? I have an elevated calcium. Whatever it was, it was horrible and will never ever have that again. Cancer or not!

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Comment from: Shellbell, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I have had 2 fine-needle aspiration biopsies. The first one was done six years ago and was almost painless. I had no problems with it at all. My second biopsy was today, and it was awful! They did use lidocaine which of course hurt as it was injected, but that was just the beginning. The pressure I felt was terrible. I was crying when I left the room and took me several minutes to regroup. My neck has been swollen and has turned all shades of colors. I am in so much pain tonight. I hope that I never have to go through another one again because I don't think I can go through with it.

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