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

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

Comment from: Kris, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

I just had FNAB (fine-needle aspiration biopsy) yesterday. The pain killer was not much more than a small insect sting. I had 7 or 8 aspirations of two nodules. No needle aspiration really hurt, but I could feel the needle's presence, especially when it pressed against my trachea if I took a deep breath while the needle was drawing samples. There was a lab technician right there to confirm that the samples drawn were sufficient, so I hopefully wouldn't be called back for a repeat of this procedure. I had little swelling and no bruising or pain after the procedure.

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Comment from: Ms.Laura, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 06

I had a fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid for biopsy on Friday and in the evening I was in so much pain that I could hardly lift my head. I iced it all night. The next day was not so bad, I was just a little sore, especially when laughing or coughing. I am now on the 4th day and it hurts when I swallow anything including my saliva. It feels like a stabbing, dull pain going all the way down almost into my chest.

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Comment from: Delaware, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I had a fine-needle aspiration done yesterday and the procedure went very well. The doctor administered lidocaine to the thyroid area of my neck before taking the three samples. It was all pretty pain free and I'm fine today. A small bruise where all the activity took place on the front of my neck. No need of any pain killers when I got home. I arrived at 6:30 am, procedure started at 7:00 am, and left around 8:00 am. It was very professionally done.

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Comment from: KBK, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: September 11

I had a fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid and they went in 8 times (usually it takes 3). It did not hurt at all and I barely felt anything. No need to be worried.

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Comment from: Melinda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 24

I had a fine needle aspiration of a thyroid nodule that was 2 X 2cm. The radiologist used ultrasound guided technique. He used a small needle and numbed the area first with lidocaine. Then he proceeded to get the samplings. I only felt the initial numbing but not the four times he took out the cells. The initial numbing felt like a bee sting. Then when he took the four samples, I did not feel anything but slight pressure. It has been 4 hours since the procedure and I have a little soreness in my throat. It was not bad at all.

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Comment from: Bubbles123, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

I had a fine needle aspiration of my thyroid this morning. I had myself worried sick, because I was afraid it was going to be really painful. I was worried for nothing. The doctor numbed it with lidocaine, and all I felt was the pressure of the needle being pushed in and out to get the samples. They took 3 samples, and it didn't hurt at all.

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Comment from: Jacq1110, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 17

I had a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy of some thyroid nodules that had changed on ultrasound. I had this done 13 years ago when the nodules were found and remember it to be extremely painful even with the lidocaine numbing. When I discussed this with my endocrinologist who ordered the biopsy, he said 'well, the procedures have changed in the last 13 years and I think it will go just fine.' When I did the scheduling, the receptionist referred to my past experience with a 'most patients don't have any pain with this procedure.' So I went into it 2 days ago, with lidocaine only, and when I discussed it with the radiologist doing the procedure he said lidocaine is the only thing I am getting and it may hurt for 30 seconds while being injected. The lidocaine injection was bearable for 30 seconds, like being stung by a bee, and just when I thought the worst was over, the fine needle went deep into my thyroid several times and the wiggling of the needle was excruciating. I breathed deeply through this long procedure and luckily had a wonderful nurse that held my hand throughout. I am left with some serious bruising, and I know it sounds paranoid, but I feel like the doctor's lack of empathy with my last FNA caused him to wiggle that needle really hard! I am still waiting for the results of the biopsy, but believe me I will never undergo this procedure again without sedation or major pain medications.

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