Posted by rhondascooking on November 29, 2010
My doctor asked me to take an ultrasound guided biopsy due to the discovery of a nodule in my right lobe. Because I didn’t know much about this procedure at that time, I had no idea that this test could not be done in a lab, but instead it had to be done at a hospital as out patient surgery! WOW, it’s just a test, right? Well, after going through this test, it really is more than just a test. An ultrasound guided biopsy is a technique that is performed with a fine needle and guided by ultrasound–is is called guided FNA (Fine Needle Aspiration). When this test is performed, the goal is to analyze any nodules and to withdraw cells to determine whether they are cancerous or not.
How does the FNA biopsy work?
Under conscious sedation or basic numbing medicine, a fine needle is inserted in your throat, directly into the nodule, which is located in the thyroid. An ultrasound device is used to determine the location of the nodule so that the doctor will find the exact location of the nodule. Then cells are extracted and placed on a slide for evaluations.
(NOTE: Because I did not have anyone to drive me home in the middle of the day, and the fact that I spoke with a nurse a few days prior about what to except, I decided to not have conscious sedation done. Instead I decided to treat this process as if I was at the dentist office having a root canal done! There is very little to no pain!)
How to prepare for the FNA biopsy?
- Work with your doctor to find a hospital (or clinic) that does this sort of biopsy and then schedule the appointment.
- Find out from the hospital scheduler/nurse all of the required documentations/tests that are needed prior to the biopsy. Ask the following questions:
Is additional blood work required?
Do I need to bring a copy of the ultrasound film?
Do I need to fast prior to the biopsy?
How long will the procedure take?
What numbing procedure is used for this biospy–basic numbing medicine or conscious sedation?
Will I be immediately released after the procedure or will I be monitored for an hour or so?
When will I be able to eat?
Will there be any soreness?
- Follow out patient instructions after the biopsy.
Posted in Health, Thyroid | Tagged: Fine Needle Aspiration, hyperthyroidsim, hypothyroidism, Thyroid, thyroid biopsy, thyroid cancer | 4 Comments »
Posted by rhondascooking on November 15, 2009
As I have said countless time to many of my friends, family members and fellow followers, this darn thyroid dilemma is indeed a roller coaster ride!! Just when I thought I was about to come to the end of the ride, I see a huge hill that I have to go up before the ride ends. Normally I am an amusement park fanatic–I LOVE roller coasters, the bigger they are the better! However, this thyroid roller coaster is not as exciting as the “Goliath” at Six Flags Magic Mountain!
As you have read in my previous posts, I was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder in December 1994; several people noticed physical change in my eyes, but I didn’t see any changes prior to that time. So, after the diagnosis, I have been up and down, and changing from obese to overweight…it’s just been draining. A year after the diagnosis had the radioactive iodine treatment (RAI), then I was in a normal state for 5 years–that’s where I began to have lots of stress in my life. And from that moment onwards, it’s been a roller coaster ride that has not come close to the end!
What’s the latest update?
On October 30, 2009, I learned that I had a nodule in my thyroid after having a basic ultrasound done. I was surprised, but for years, I didn’t even know that I still had much of a thyroid since I had the RAI treatment. I was told that after taking that treatment, that I would have very little thyroid left. Well, after reviewing the results with my doctor, I learned two things: 1) My right thyroid lobe is almost a normal size, and 2) I had a nodule almost the size of the right thyroid lobe! These two results were shocking to say the least! What the heck happened? How could I have had any thyroid left after having the RAI?! Because I never had any further analysis/tests performed on my thyroid since the RAI procedure 14 years ago, I can’t say weather or not I had the nodule then or if it just started growing over time. Why in the world haven’t other doctors tested me over the 14 years? This makes no sense to me because I have been complaining about my thyoid being out of whack for the last ten years!!! Crazy, huh?! The following are my results.
- Normal thyroid size (according to a health blog post): average size ranges between 3 to 4 cm in height, 1 to 1.5 cm in width and 2 to 3 cm in depth
- My thyroid size: Left lobe (0.4 x 0.7 x 1.5)cm and Right lobe (1 x 1.1 x 3.1)cm
- My nodule size (found in right lobe): (0.8 x 1.1 x 1.2)cm in diameter
So what’s next for me?
My doctor wanted me to have an ultrasound guided biopsy to further explore the nodule and to determine if it has any cancer cells. When I heard this I was like hold on, let me make sure that my seat belt is still on because I was getting ready to go down the large hill on my roller coaster ride! I had no idea what to expect. Heck, I didn’t even know what an ultrasound guided biopsy was, so I had to do my research. I turned to the Internet and my books from Mary Shomon, Author of Living Well with Hypothyroidism and Founder of thyroid-info.com website, to learn some basic information about this procedure. This test is basically a needle biopsy called Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) that is guided by ultrasound to help find the correct position of the nodules and analyze them. OMG, a needle in my throat?! What in the world is going on!
Stay tuned for my biopsy experience and my results.
Follow me on twitter: @rhondapeters, @rhondascooking
To learn more about the thyroid and Mary Shomon’s work visit: Thyroid-info, About.com
Posted in Health, Thyroid | Tagged: Fine Needle Aspiration, mary shomon, nodules, RAI, Thyroid, thyroid cancer, thyroid nodules, ultrasound guided biopsy | 2 Comments »