When a physician diagnoses a patient as having a thyroid nodule or multiple nodules, the patient needs to be evaluated for the possibility of malignancy. Fortunately, the vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign. It is not usually possible for a physician to determine whether a thyroid nodule is cancerous based on an examination or blood tests, so other tests need to be conducted.
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Thyroid ultrasonography is a procedure for obtaining pictures of the thyroid gland by using sound waves that pass through the skin. All of the offices at Palm Beach Diabetes and Endocrine Specialists have the same state-of-the-art, high definition ultrasound machines. In examining thyroid nodules, certain characteristics such as size and consistency can help determine whether a nodule is benign or not. However, the best use of a thyroid ultrasound is guiding the placement of a biopsy needle and following nodules over time to make sure they are not growing or changing substantially.
These are a few important thyroid facts to keep in mind:
Nodules of a certain size and with certain characteristics will require a biopsy. This is a simple procedure that is done with ultrasound guidance to obtain a sample of the tissue which is sent to a pathologist in order to determine the nature of the nodule. Sometimes the answer is not clear and further testing is needed. Palm Beach Diabetes and Endocrine Specialists is affiliated with several facilities capable of analyzing the genetics of the thyroid tissue. This technique enables us to determine with a much higher degree of accuracy if the nodule is benign or malignant, and can save the need for surgery in many cases.
If surgery is required, we will assist you in finding a surgeon that can address your medical needs and who uses the most effective approaches available. Following surgery, your endocrinologist will monitor your progress and coordinate your post-operative therapy.