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

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

Comment from: sanrox, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 16

Let me start by saying I hate needles, so when I was told I needed to have the fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid I was upset. I felt the prick of the needles for the local anesthetic, and the cold of the lidocaine. After that all I felt was the pressure of the doctor's fingers and the ultrasound device. The procedure took about an hour and they took 8 biopsies and once they looked at them, came back for 3 more. I have a small bruise on my neck and took an Aleve and used the icepack for a few minutes. It was very easy and now I feel silly for being so worried.

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Comment from: thyroid mom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I wanted to say that I had a fine-needle aspiration of my thyroid on 3 nodules last week, and also had this done 8 years ago. The doc took 5 biopsies from each of 3 nodules. I agree with others, not a pleasant procedure. It took 2 hours. It took one week to get my results and all biopsies are indeterminate; they believe this is because of my Hashimoto's. I have very high antibodies in the 1800 to 2000 range depending on the blood test. So the doctors are just suggesting a wait and repeat in 6 months to a year.

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Comment from: ahealthyperson, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I had a fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of thyroid. I had no sedation. I had the injection of lidocaine which did burn and felt like a sting. I had three full needles full of blood and cells on each side. I was left with a huge bruise and a small round white blister above the injection site on both sides. My neck was so sore and still is 5 days later. I had a terrible headache after and could hardly talk. He was making little stabs for about 2 minutes 3 times on each side. It hurts when I cough and breathe, all the way down my throat. I have not received results yet. Not a pleasant procedure at all.

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Comment from: amc723, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

My freshman year of college, I started to experience minor pains in my upper abdomen, under my ribs. I usually would just take tums, and try to fall asleep (it would happen at night). One night when I was home for Christmas break (January), the pain was bad enough to go to the emergency room (ER). The pain lasted until around 5 am, they gave me a 'GI (gastrointestinal) cocktail' and sent me on my way. I was prescribed omeprazole (Prilosec) to take once a day. I would get the same pain every once and a while that would radiate to my back. These pains started to get more severe and more frequent around late November, then started to happen pretty much every day. Finally, in January, (last month) I was referred to a GI doctor after going to the ER on Christmas day for horrible abdominal pain. They did an ultrasound and I was finally diagnosed with gallstones! My surgery is this month and hopefully it goes well. But seriously, if you have pain in your upper abdomen, it radiates to your shoulder blades, and you cannot eat anything fatty or unhealthy, do not just assume it is heartburn or indigestion! Get an ultrasound. I know how much gallstones can take a toll on someone; not being able to go eat pizza with your friends, losing sleep every night because of the pain, it is horrible!

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Comment from: Flowerfanatic, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 17

After having experienced several months of feeling like I was strangling especially when lying down, my doctor ordered a thyroid ultrasound. It came back with my thyroid being much enlarged with 1 cyst and several nodules, with the suggestion to have a biopsy. After having read many negative reports of having fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of thyroid done, I was really terrified of having it done. Well, I'm here to tell you the only tiny bit of pain was the lidocaine injection and that was very brief. He waited about 30 seconds or so before starting the aspiration itself. I felt nothing when the radiologist aspirated the 3 syringes for sending to the pathologist. I don't know if there will be any side effects tomorrow but right now all I feel is the Band-Aid they put on it! The lidocaine is all gone and there's no feeling of having anything done to this area. I know I could experience some bruising possibly but I doubt if that will happen. I was given a small ice pack and used that on the way home and will apply more ice if needed. So all of my apprehension prior to the aspiration, was for naught as it was easier than a blood draw! Fortunately I had a very good team working with me and a very proficient radiologist doing the aspiration. Hopefully this will help alleviate fears someone else may feel if they're going to have an FNAB. It was truly a breeze!

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