Thyroid Ultrasound

In-office ultrasound is performed by the doctor and interpreted during the visit.

What is it?

Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body.
Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (x-ray). Because these images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

Ultrasound imaging is usually a painless medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

An ultrasound of the thyroid produces a picture of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is located in front of the neck just below the Adam's apple and is shaped like a butterfly, with two lobes on either side of the neck connected by a narrow band of tissue. It is one of nine endocrine glands located throughout the body that make and send hormones into the bloodstream.

Common Uses?

An ultrasound of the thyroid is typically used to help diagnose:
  • a lump in the thyroid
  • a thyroid that is not functioning properly
Because ultrasound provides real-time images, it also can be used to guide procedures such as needle biopsies, in which needles are used to extract sample cells from an abnormal area for laboratory testing.Ultrasound may also be used to guide the insertion of a catheter or drainage device and helps assure accurate placement.

How Should You Prepare for the Procedure?

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You will need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined. You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure. No other preparation is required.