When Do You Need a Thyroid Ultrasound?
A thyroid ultrasound typically takes place following a medical examination to confirm the presence of thyroid nodules, cysts, goiters, or tumors. After taking blood tests and manually examining your neck, your doctor may prescribe a thyroid ultrasound for visual confirmation of their diagnosis.
A thyroid ultrasound allows the doctor to check for abnormalities in the shape and density of the thyroid and surrounding tissues, helping them to determine whether a growth is benign or cancerous. If the nodules appear malignant, your doctor will order a biopsy of the nodule tissue.
A thyroid ultrasound is also necessary if you have been prescribed radiofrequency ablation (RFA) treatment to eliminate thyroid nodules. The ultrasound wand is used to guide an electrode to heat and eliminate nodules.
How Does a Thyroid Ultrasound Work?
A thyroid ultrasound uses a small transducer probe that sends sound waves into the body and records the echoes that return. The echoes are transformed into digital data that creates an image of your thyroid and the surrounding structures, allowing your doctor to detect abnormalities.
What Happens During an Ultrasound?
A thyroid ultrasound is non-invasive and requires no preparation, such as fasting or medication, before the exam. However, your doctor may instruct you to wear a top with a neckline that sits below your collarbone to provide easy access to your neck. You will also need to remove all your neck jewelry before getting the ultrasound.
After instructing you to lay down on an exam table and providing you with a pillow to support your head and neck, your doctor rubs a small amount of gel on your neck. Air disrupts the sound waves’ rate of travel, so your doctor applies the lubricating gel to your neck to reduce the layer of air between the handheld transducer and your skin and create a clearer picture. This gel also minimizes friction on your skin, allowing the wand to glide smoothly and prevent discomfort.
Your doctor moves the transducer wand slowly back and forth across your throat around the location of your thyroid. They may need to make several passes to get an accurate image of the gland.
After removing the gel, the doctor evaluates the images and tells you your results. From start to finish, the procedure takes around 10 minutes.
Choose Associated Endocrinologists for Better Thyroid Health
If you live in the Detroit area and suspect that you may have thyroid abnormalities, the team at Associated Endocrinologists can help. For a fast, easy, accurate diagnosis of thyroid nodules, contact Associated Endocrinologists to schedule a thyroid ultrasound. We also offer several other services, including Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy and Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation.