Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration
Your local doctor has scheduled a Thyroid FNA to be done in Ultrasound on
__________________ at ________ ( )am, ( )pm. Please report to the G3/3 Radiology desk
(Atrium elevators to the 3rd floor). Before the procedure, our doctors will explain what will
happen, answer any questions, and ask you to sign a consent form.
What is a thyroid FNA?
A thyroid FNA (fine needle aspiration) is
the most common method for evaluating a
thyroid nodule or mass. A very fine, thin
needle is inserted into the thyroid to remove
cells and fluid from the thyroid nodule or
mass. The sample is reviewed by the
What should I expect during a thyroid
The doctor uses an ultrasound (a machine
that sends sound waves through the skin and
creates images on a TV screen) to check the
site of the nodule or mass. Once the nodule
is located, the doctor cleans the area with
special soap. Numbing medicine is injected
under the skin at the site. A small needle is
put into the nodule with ultrasound
guidance. Most often 3 samples are needed.
The samples are sent to a cytopathologist to
see if enough cells were removed. If not,
further samples are obtained. The
cytopathologist will know if there are
enough cells for evaluation, but the doctor
will not get results for 3-4 days.
After the local anesthetic wears off, you may
feel some pain at the site. Your pain should
not be severe, but patients have described it
as sore at the site. No medicines are
prescribed for this soreness. If you have
soreness at the site, we suggest the use of
Tylenol®. The soreness should go away
within the first 24 hours.
What can I do after the procedure?
Thyroid FNA is considered safe, and almost
never results in complications. You can go
back to your normal routine, as you are able,
after the thyroid FNA. After the procedure,
you may have bruising of the neck.
When do I call the doctor?
ξ If you feel dizzy, faint, or light-headed.
ξ If your pain around the site gets worse
rather than better 2-3 days later.
ξ If you are not feeling well, and have a
fever greater than 100.4° F (38° C).
ξ If you develop redness and swelling
around the site.
Monday through Friday (7:30am - 4:30pm) call the Ultrasound department (608) 262-5279 or
nurse (608) 261-5634. If you live out of the area, please call 1 (800) 323-8942.
Evenings and weekends, call your local doctor or go to your local emergency room.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6431.