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Old 04-14-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 2,743,097 times
Reputation: 1480

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I wasn't thrilled about the actuality of a radiologist sticking long thin needles into my thyroid nodule while I was awake and watching, but this thread is to reassure you if you're facing the same diagnostic test.

My thyroid nodule had been classified uninodular non-toxic but my endocrinologist recommended the FNA just to be sure. So, while I rested on my back on a table wishing the ceiling had a picture of Clive Owen or Daniel Craig to look at, the sonographer used the transducer of the ultrasound machine to locate the nodule for the radiologist and they talked about it in multi-syllabic medical terminology while they decided on the best angle of entry. (If you're lucky enough to have a radiologist like mine, you also get to hear patient jokes and friendly banter to put you at your ease.)

Then the sonographer paints a wide area around your thyroid with Betadine solution and the radiologist warns that you're going to feel "a bee-sting or two" as he injects lidocaine around the thyroid to numb you up. (You can opt for some Xanax, too, if your anxiety level requires it.) Pain control in place, it's time to watch those VERY LONG thin needles appear in your peripheral vision and feel a strange probing sensation as the radiologist attempts to get a diagnostic sample big enough for the pathologist while carefully viewing where the needle tip is on the ultrasound display. (Bad form to nick the carotid artery.) I say "needles" (plural) because my nodule was a dry, uncooperative one (of course) and the radiologist decided to take FIVE separate samples to be sure I didn't have to repeat the procedure.

The good thing was, right before I thought I'd explode with wanting to swallow or cough during the tissue extraction (and thus cause my thyroid to bob up and down like a boat in a rough sea), the radiologist finished the extraction and removed the needle. I was given the opportunity to swallow and/or cough before each attempt, along with a hand signal if I couldn't control the urge. Luckily, I was able to stay still during the crucial moments I needed to and pretend I was sunning myself on a tropical beach while a few sand fleas were biting.

There was very little bleeding for the bandaid to cover, and I was given a re-freezable ice pack for the bruising and any swelling. A couple of Tylenol took care of the pain and all I'm experiencing this morning is a stiff neck and a bit of residual soreness.

So this is to let you know not to be afraid of a FNA if that's what it will take to set your mind at ease about the status of your thyroid nodule. It was a great relief to hear my radiologist say, in his professional opinion, it "looked benign" and that he would get the results to my endo doc as soon as possible.
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Old 04-14-2011, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Copiague, NY
1,500 posts, read 2,328,749 times
Reputation: 2392
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecypher5413 View Post
I wasn't thrilled about the actuality of a radiologist sticking long thin needles into my thyroid nodule while I was awake and watching, but this thread is to reassure you if you're facing the same diagnostic test.
Good luck to you on the results.

I underwent a similar procedure while having a prostate gland biopsy. There was no one to allay my fears and initially,
I was unable to accept the doctors reassurance, that it would be a short and virtually painless ordeal. Like you, I set out afterwards,
to inform those "apprehensive others" at webMD, that the biopsy was no big deal at all. It was kind of you to share your experience
with others who might be facing the same test. Sometimes the pre test anxiety is more of an ordeal than the test itself. I do hope that
your test results prove to be negative and that your thyroid problem is simply benign.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
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Mine was painful. I had multinodular goiter and one showed a spot of some kind on C\T or MRI or whatever I had first. Trying to hit that was not easy. Turned out OK but it was not a walk in the park.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:17 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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I had a tumor on my thyroid. The needle aspiration was the single-most painful experience I've ever had. I've had my tubes tied. I've had a lumpectomy. I've had surgery on bones to repair fractures. I had a thyroidectomy. I have migraines. I have scar tissue on the end of a fallopian tube, which bumps into a nerve once every month when I get my period, and BANGS the nerve for around 20 minutes in mind-numbingly painfully excruciating waves. I've had D&Cs four times a year for two years as a post-op to cervical cancer and removal of around 1/3 of my cervix.

I will never. Ever. Ever. Forget the pain of the aspiration. It was worse than any of the above. It's the kind of pain that I *would* wish on my worst enemy.
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Between Seattle and Portland
1,266 posts, read 2,743,097 times
Reputation: 1480
Well, I'm sorry to hear about the bad experiences with this procedure and sympathize. This was, of course, just ONE patient's report, in hopes my satisfied outcome would reassure someone else.

I have to assume a portion of the success with my aspiration was the skill and experience of my radiologist, whose success rate with diagnostic sampling approached 95% (according to what the sonographer said) and whose sure touch and easy manner contributed to my viewing my experience so positively.

If I had taken the offered Xanax, I would have felt no pain whatsoever.

And now I will have the peace of mind knowing the condition of my nodule and what steps I should take next when I get my diagnostic report back.
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:42 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
Reputation: 20198
The lump on my thyroid turned out to be a benign tumor - no chemo, no radition, they only had to remove one of the nodes, leaving the other intact and perfectly operative. They didn't even nick the parathyroid in the process, which they warned was a risk when you have thyroid surgery.

I don't recall being given any novocaine for the aspiration. Maybe that's why it was so horrible.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
Reputation: 18533
I went on to have radioactive iodine treatment of my over-active thyroid. That was a breeze! I don't remember if I got Lidocaine for sure, but I think I did.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,896 posts, read 5,863,520 times
Reputation: 6050
I had the thyroid test needle biopsy to check and see if the nodules were benign or malignant. They did not give you ANYTHING for nerves with my doctor. The explanation was that they didn't want you nodding off during the needle insertion.......having said that, it wasn't as painful as I expected and I had no residual problems, either in soreness, etc, etc.

Do I want to have it done again ? No. But, I can think of other tests that were worse. My fear was worse than the actual operation. Again, as someone said, that was my reaction and it may have been my doctors expertise......
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:29 PM
 
5,706 posts, read 12,815,737 times
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Went to endocrinologist to check a goiter which I have had for years. First did an ultrasound and then a biopsy. The biopsy was totally painless, he cleaned the area and used three needles. It is quite possible that some people are more tolerant of pain and unaffected by the needles.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:24 AM
 
1 posts, read 23,296 times
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I had a fine needle biopsy today. I am still in discomfort and slight pain. The procedure was at 12 noon today and the time is now 5.10. For anyone who is due to have a FNB try not to be nervous, it will be over in no time. I have taken 4 ibuprofen tablets, and i put a ice pack on it when i first got home.
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