What is a thyroid ultrasound?
A thyroid ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging tool used to create images of the thyroid gland within your neck. The thyroid gland is located just above your collar bones and is one of nine glands in the body that is responsible for making and sending hormones throughout your body. These hormones are responsible for a variety of bodily functions, such as regulating how fast your heart beats.
Frequently asked questions:
You may have been referred for a thyroid ultrasound for a variety of reasons including swelling, pain, or if abnormal tests are reported. Typically, nodules can develop in the thyroid and can be felt on the skin’s surface. These nodules are easily seen and examined via a thyroid ultrasound.
No special preparations are required. Patients are able to eat and drink as they normally would.
You will lie face-up on an exam table that can be tilted or moved. Patients may be turned to either side to improve the quality of the images. A pillow may be placed behind the shoulders to extend the area to be scanned for a thyroid ultrasound exam. After you are positioned on the examination table, the sonographer will apply a gel to the neck area. The transducer is placed on the neck and moved back and forth until the desired images are captured.
There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer is pressed against the neck. However, if scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor pain from the transducer.
An ultrasound of the thyroid is usually completed within 30 minutes.
When a thyroid ultrasound is performed, there are little to no risks. However, patients may experience discomfort from the pressure placed on their neck from the transducer. This pressure is to allow for the sonographer to capture the best images of your thyroid.