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

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

Comment from: Ashleymata700, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I had fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid (FNA) done today with ultrasound. I was nervous but told by everyone that it wouldn't hurt. Boy, were they wrong! Maybe it was my doctor, maybe the location... I have no clue. She didn't even wait 2 seconds after the lidocaine to start. The first one was bearable. The ones after almost brought me to tears. The pressure was so weird but I started hurting very bad after. It's been 10 hours now and I feel like it was just done. Ice and Advil haven't helped at all. My nodule is at least 3 cm on my left side at the base of my neck. Not sure why it hurts so badly but I hope it stops soon!

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Comment from: Free, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I was scared more than anything, the fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid was a fast procedure.

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Comment from: Moosechips, 45-54 (Patient) Published: June 02

I had a fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid (FNA) today. I have 1 nodule on my right side and had 4 sticks with no lidocaine. The stick itself was not bad but as she went into the nodule it hurt more with each stick. She had to stop after #3 for me to take a moment to breathe. I did have tears flowing at that point. Afterwards I did have to be still for a bit. I got queasy and light headed. I also have fibromyalgia so I"m not sure if that made things worse.

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Comment from: Angie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

Today I had my second fine needle aspiration biopsy of my thyroid and it was two very different experiences. My first time I was sent by my doctor to a surgeon for the test and he used lidocaine to numb the skin. He used only four needle insertions but the pressure was terrible and the emotional storm left me unable to respond or talk to anyone for hours, then three days of terrible depression. New doctor, totally new experience; first my new doctor did the test himself, no numbing medications (they were not needed). He stuck me approximately 20 times, small pin pricks, the pressure was odd but not horrible, and I did feel pain on one of my nodules but from the sonogram wand pressing it into my trachea rather than from the nodule. No emotional storm! And my doctor said that the first episode could have been a result of pushing the lidocaine into the thyroid making it react with chemicals that brought on a clinical (chemical) depression. I am sore, and a little swollen but I am mentally and physically just fine this time.

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Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I do not understand when people say this hurts. I had 3 fine-needle aspirations (FNA) of my thyroid and it didn"t hurt at all. A mosquito bite hurts more than that.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I just had fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid yesterday and it was rough but I made it through! I had my neck numbed, 3 needles, and no cancer! I am so thankful. Anyone who has to have a biopsy of the thyroid done, do what your doctor asks of you and you will be just fine. I had slight pain and swelling at home. I noticed a white sticky drainage from the needle stick, it was tissue.

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Comment from: ae1007, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 12

I have four nodules biopsied today, about 9 needles per nodule. So with the numbing medication and biopsies it was about 40 needles. The doctor doing the fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid reported he had never done that many nodules in one procedure but my endocrinologist ordered it and after looking at the sonograms he agreed. I was overwhelmed with that, after having read information online about everyone else"s 4 to 5 needle experiences. I was expecting a 15 minute procedure with a few needles, not what I got. It took about 2 hours with 40 needles even with the ultrasound. It was not painful, in the sense of pain. The pressure felt weird. It was admittedly stressful and required a lot of zoning out. It hasn't been a day yet, but so far the irritation is still there. Hopefully the soreness will decrease after some sleep. I was glad the doctor was so thorough because I won"t have to do that again because of lack of tissue. If you are afraid, try not to panic, practice some zoning out, meditation skills, or whatever helps you get through tough moments, then use them! The irritation is temporary and the procedure is important for your overall health and wellbeing. Good luck!

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