What happens during a thyroid biopsy?

Welcome to the wonderful world of thyroid biopsies! Nothing screams fun like being poked with needles in your neck. Just kidding, it’s not that bad. Here’s everything you need to know about thyroid biopsies so you can feel completely informed but still terrified.

Preparing for Your Biopsy

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what exactly happens during a biopsy, let’s go over how to prepare for one. First and foremost, you’ll want to avoid any blood-thinning medications like aspirin or ibuprofen leading up to your procedure. You don’t want to bleed out all over your nice doctor’s suit now do you?

Also, make sure you’ve eaten something before going in – this is not the time for a juice cleanse unless your goal is fainting (side note: please don’t pass out). Most importantly though: bring someone with you who can hold your hand and remind you that it’s just a little needle sticking through important parts of your body!

The Procedure

Okay folks, here we go! The day has arrived and it’s time for the procedure. Before things get rolling though, let’s talk about what could be happening with our bodies if we’re getting this done in the first place.

Why even have a thyroid biopsy?

There are many reasons why someone might end up needing a thyroid biopsy but some common ones include:

  • A lump has been found on an ultrasound
  • Abnormal hormone levels hint at potential issues
  • An enlarged thyroid gland raises red flags
  • History of radiation exposure in the head/neck area
  • Family history of thyroid cancer

If these sound familiar then welcome aboard SVU because those all sound like they would be perfect case files for LL Cool J and Mariska Hargitay.

Ultrasound Time

Now back to our procedure – we’re going to start with an ultrasound of the thyroid (yay, no needles yet!). The purpose of this is to identify any abnormal growths or lumps in your lovely neck. If there’s a suspicious spot, it will be checked out more closely via biopsy.

Needle Time

Alright people brace yourselves because needle time is about to come and knock you off your feet! But don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it seems – at least that’s what I’ve heard from brave souls who have survived their own biopsies.

The doctor or nurse practitioner performing the biopsy uses a thin needle to enter through the skin into the thyroid gland in order to collect small samples of tissue for testing. While they’re doing this you might feel some pressure but try not scream out like Dorothy if she had just fallen on some wicked witch.


When all is said and done, make sure someone drives you home because driving oneself after having needles stuck in thy neck can indeed be dangerous and result in very awkward conversations with law enforcement officials. It’s also normal that your throat may still be sore from where the needle was inserted but don’t worry too much about it – treat yourself with ice cream…you earned it!


Once test results are back from pathology (this could take several days), doctors use them along with additional imaging tests and procedures needed before making a final diagnosis determining whether cancerous cells were found within thyroid material obtained during biopsy.

If cancerous cells are discovered remember there really is such thing as love & support (& treatment)! Remember: “What doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger” especially when said strength comes by way of unwavering friendship over FaceTime cocktails!


Hopefully now you know everything about getting a needle jabbed into thy fragile little neck by way of thyroid biopsies including preparations needed beforehand; what exactly you can expect once your procedure begins including necessary ultrasounds & needle insertions and finally post-procedure care tips such as indulging in some ice cream because mmm-mmm sweet sweet victory!

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