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

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

Comment from: Lady B, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

Hi. I just had a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of my thyroid biopsy performed today. I was very nervous leading up to this procedure, as I have never had a needle put in my neck. I was told I had three nodules in my thyroid gland which one was a concern. I only received a topical numbing gel over my neck. I have a very low tolerance for pain and I was a nervous wreck. To my surprise, I did not feel the first needle stick, I barely felt the second stick, and with the third stick a small sting. There was very little pressure. Overall this procedure was a piece of cake. I am thankful it was not painful at all. I did very well and thanks to my doctor who performed such an amazing job at keeping it painless.

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Comment from: dee, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

After talking to people who said it was almost painless, I went into the fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid procedure pretty upbeat. The numbing shot wasn't too bad and the staff said that was the worst part. Well... they were wrong. I told them after the first needle that it hurt but wasn't offered more numbing. The technician just said the nodule was small (10cc) and hard to reach. I had 10 needles. The initial poke didn't hurt, but when it touched the thyroid it was incredibly painful. I have an autoimmune disease, so perhaps my nerves are sensitive. Whatever the reason, my tears had filled up my ears by the time it was over.

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Comment from: Patient X, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I've had two fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies of my thyroid: one in 2008 and one in 2013. The latest was ultrasound-guided, so the doctor used the ultrasound to see exactly where she wanted to take the samples from. She took 5 samples each from 2 nodules. I was very anxious because the FNA biopsy I had in 2008 was quite traumatic - it wasn't ultrasound-guided, and I could really feel the pressure of him digging around a lot. He took at least 8 samples from one spot. Today, she gave me very generous doses of lidocaine and I honestly couldn't feel anything. I was so relieved! The right side of my lower neck is pretty swollen, a little sore, and is starting to look bruised. But the actual procedure this time was way, way better than the first time. I've been diagnosed with Graves disease and have a cold nodule on my thyroid with a couple of not-great indicators, so that's what the FNA was for and my fingers are crossed that I just have Graves and not a malignancy as well.

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Comment from: 3 GROWTHS, Female (Patient) Published: August 31

I had two of the three growths in my thyroid biopsied the other day with fine-needle aspiration, and it was painful. They took four samples from each. Now I have the waiting game.

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Comment from: Wisconsin Girl, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I had a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) done on 4 thyroid nodules and it was painless. I was nervous about the procedure beforehand and was relieved to find it was so easy. Nothing to worry about, believe me.

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Comment from: Butterfly effect, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I had the fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid done, four inserts each consisting of 8 to 10 pulses. I had a flood of emotions once the gentle doctor started, first I felt pressure then the tears started flowing. I felt very upset but wasn't expecting that to happen. My neck is very sore but not everyone has a sore neck after the procedure. It makes me wonder if the pain is associated to the health of your thyroid during the biopsy.

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Comment from: Raerae84, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

Wow, am I the only one that got no numbing medication! The doctor just jabbed the needle in my thyroid and jabbed it around several times and I have to say the fine-needle aspiration was very painful and still a little painful and swollen 5 hours later.

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Comment from: Rasha, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I am feeling frustrated. I just received the result of fine needle aspiration. The sample is deemed insufficient. This is the 2nd time I got not enough sample. I either have a third aspiration or have thyroid removed surgically.

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