All other cancers
posted by Hoof1
15 October 2018

FNA biopsy on thyroid -my experience and diagnosis

Last reply: 1 year ago

I'm describing my experience of an ultrasound guided FNA biopsy for anyone who would like information on it. 

Although my 2 sets of blood results were within normal ranges, my doctor noticed a lump on my neck when I swallowed during a visit. Following a consult with an endocrinologist and an ultrasound I then went for the FNA biopsy. I am in my late twenties and had no symptoms at all associated with thyroid cancer. I would have been healthy and rarely needed to visit the doctor prior to this. 

I had a good experience with the biopsy. The procedure was explained to me. My head was resting over a pillow so my neck was extended backwards. My whole neck area was cleaned with a wipe and alcohol rub (not very sure about the exact materials used) and a blue gown was put around me to protect clothing from the iodine put on my neck after the biopsy. I received a local anaesthetic (which was like getting the numbing injection in the dentist only in my neck). Felt like getting blood taken, only felt a pinch.

After being left for a few minutes for the anaesthetic to take effect, I had to try and not swallow/move my neck, especially when the needle would be inserted into my neck ( I had one nodule/lump on my left side only). The gel was applied to my neck for the ultrasound to guide the needle. A countdown from 3 was used so I knew when the needle would be inserted. A slight pressure was felt where the needle went in but it didn't feel tight/ choking. I just knew it was there. I found it good to focus on a point in the ceiling to distract myself from it. The needle was inserted 3 times in total to get enough representative cell samples.

A sticky plaster/bandage was placed over where the needle went in which I removed the next day. Felt fine after it, went home 10 minutes or so after the procedure. 

For anyone wondering how it turned out, the diagnosis was papillary carcinoma. I'm having my left lobe of my thyroid removed in just over a week and have spoken to people who have had this surgery. Outlook is positive. Did have consult with surgeon and having vocal cord check, bloods and ecg prior to surgery. Don't forget to ask about risks with flying pre and post surgery just incase you are a high risk patient for surgery. Hope this post helps someone who is in a similar boat to me



commented by Irish Cancer Society
13 November 2018

4 years ago

Thank you for sharing your experience, this may prove very helpful for another person undergoing this procedure. The nurseline is open 0900-1700 Monday - Friday. Please get in touch with us if you would like to talk .

Best wishes,

Cancer nurse

commented by codac
24 April 2020

2 years ago

Hi Hoof1,
I know it has been a while since you posted the above so you may not get to read my message. I hope you are doing well since your diagnosis in 2018.
Do you mind me asking, can you remember how long it took between having the FNA biopsy and getting your results? I had a FNA thyroid biopsy on Tuesday last for a TR5 nodule (so 3 days ago) and I haven't heard anything yet so I'm wondering if I can assume that it is clear or if the results usually take a bit longer?
Thank you.

commented by patricia12
31 August 2021

1 year ago

Can someone help please I am awaiting thyroid biopsy results I’m from limerick can someone tell me th3 waiting time for results please

© Irish Cancer Society 1999-2022 All Rights Reserved

Irish Cancer Society Head office, 43/45 Northumberland Road Dublin, D04 VX65; Charity Regulatory Authority No. 20009502; Revenue Number CHY5863; Company Number 20868.