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Thyroid Ultrasound

A thyroid ultrasound is a non-invasive exam that employs pulses of high frequency sound waves to image and assess the thyroid gland. This small endocrine gland, situated just below the position of the “Adams’s apple” on the front of the neck, regulates the body’s metabolism and can result in a wide range of conditions and symptoms when its function is impaired.

If your symptoms indicate that you may have an issue with your thyroid, this exam will allow your practitioner to check the thyroid for nodules or cysts, assess the thyroids size and shape and possibly discover any deviation from its optimal functioning.

Should your practitioner be concerned about nodules on your thyroid, he/she may also request that you undergo an ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsy. This process involves the image guided insertion of a very fine needle into the thyroid, in order to obtain a small tissue sample. The sample will be sent to the laboratory for testing and the results forwarded to your physician. Should you require this procedure, your practitioner will discuss the process with you in greater detail, so that you may understand and consent to the exam before proceeding.

PATIENT INFORMATION AND PREPARATION

Special Instructions

  • Please take all prescription medications as instructed
  • Your skin should be kept clean and free of body oils, moisturizers and powders
  • Your clothing should be lightweight, comfortable and allow for easy access to the skin at the front of your neck
  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes in advance

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR EXAM

  • You may be asked to change into a gown, to allow easy access to the area in question
  • You will be asked to lie down flat on a tilt-in-space examination table, with a pillow beneath your shoulders and neck
  • A warm, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic ultrasound gel will be applied to the skin of your neck
  • You may experience mild to moderate pressure from the wand transducer, as the sonographer scans the thyroid from different angles, checking for nodules, cysts or other anomalies
  • You may be asked a few questions regarding your thyroid, in order to assist the radiologist in the formulation of a comprehensive report
  • You will now be allowed to alight from the examination table, get changed and return to your seat
  • Your radiologist will review the captured images
  • After review of the images, the radiologist may now choose to sit with you in the exam room, in order to discuss your results

WHEN TO EXPECT THE RESULTS OF YOUR EXAM

Our radiologists will interpret your information and aim to forward the results to your doctor by the end of the next working day.

WHAT YOU’LL PAY FOR THIS PROCEDURE

This exam is covered under the Alberta Health Care Plan.