Thyroid excisional biopsy
The thyroid is an endocrine gland located in front of the trachea (windpipe) in the neck. In an excisional biopsy, a section of thyroid tissue is removed for diagnostic examination.
Alternative NamesOpen thyroid biopsy; Thyroid biopsy - open
Why is the Test Performed?
This test is usually performed to determine the cause of a mass, growth, or tumor in your thyroid gland. This test may be used when a diagnosis cannot be made using fine needle aspiration.
How is the Test Performed?
This procedure is performed in a hospital operating room using general anesthesia, so you are unconscious and pain-free. A small incision is made in your neck. A section of your thyroid containing any suspicious growth or lump is removed.
The thyroid tissue is sent to the laboratory to be examined while you are still on the operating table. The results of this analysis determine if additional thyroid tissue should be removed.
The incision is then closed.
Preparation for the Test
Inform the doctor of any drug allergies you have, which medications you are taking (including any herbal remedies), if you have bleeding problems, and if you are pregnant.
How will the Test Feel?
When you wake up after the procedure, you will feel drowsy for several hours. You may have a mild sore throat from the tube that was placed in your throat. There will be some discomfort at the biopsy site.
Thyroid excisional biopsy Risks
The main risk is bleeding into or around the thyroid gland. If severe, emergency drainage may be required to prevent your airway from becoming blocked. Rarely, injury to the nerves of the vocal cords can occur. Injury to the parathyroid glands may also occur, which may cause problems in calcium metabolism.
What Abnormal Results Mean
Reviewed By: Brendan T. Campbell, M.D., MPH, Department of Surgery, Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, AR. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Copyright 2013 A.D.A.M., Inc.