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Your doctor has requested that you have a thyroid biopsy. This will help answer some of the most common questions.

What is a biopsy?

A biopsy is a sampling of an area of tissue.

Who does the procedure:

A radiologist (x-ray doctor) performs the procedure, with assistance from technologists.

What preparations must I take before the exam?

You will need to have blood work done prior to the examination. You will also need to speak with your doctor and possibly discontinue taking any aspirin or blood thinning medication you may be taking.

What do I do on the day of the test?

Report to Radiology approximately 20 minutes before your scheduled time if you have not been contacted by the Admitting Office.

What happens during the procedure?

The doctor will cleanse your neck with an antiseptic soap. A fine needle will then be inserted into your thyroid and tissue samples are taken. This may be done several times.

How long does it take?

The entire procedure takes about an hour.

What will I be able to do following the exam?

We recommend that you restrict your activities and rest on the day of the biopsy. As long as you are feeling up to it, you can resume normal activity the following day.

Are there complications?

Most people tolerate the exam without difficulty. You will be given some discharge instructions following your procedure which will describe signs to look for in case of infection.