Several of our physicians are qualified to successfully and safely perform ultrasound-guided (US) fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of thyroid nodules in the office instead of referring patients to a hospital-based radiologist for the procedure.
Having an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon perform FNAB in the office saves the patient time. Traditionally, patients were referred to a hospital to see a radiologist for FNAB. Another advantage of performing office-based ultrasound (US) and ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (US-FNAB) is that the performing physician is familiar with the patient’s history and symptoms. In the office-based setting, the need for the procedure generally arises when a patient comes in for a consultation with a surgeon. The physician typically orders an initial diagnostic US if not previously done. After this, a small needle is inserted into the area of concern under ultrasound guidance and the specimen is obtained.
Fine-needle aspiration is not a very invasive procedure, but there is always a chance of bleeding or infection, and blood may collect following the procedure.
Results are back from the lab within a week and are then explained to patients at a follow-up visit.