Accurate biopsy without surgery
At Tufts Medical Center’s Thyroid Ultrasound and Fine Needle Aspiration Clinic, you will be taken care of by a team of expert health care professionals who use the safest and most accurate procedure available to biopsy nodules or growths in your thyroid. Using this procedure, we can rapidly determine whether the growth is benign or malignant and what follow up treatment may be needed.
What can I expect?
Our doctors typically use a quick, minimally invasive procedure called fine needle aspiration (FNA). During this procedure, your doctor will use an ultrasound to precisely guide a thin needle into the nodule and remove a few cells. It is a relatively pain free procedure that usually takes about an hour, allowing you to get back to your daily routine as soon as possible.
Who performs the procedure?
With this procedure, experience matters. Biopsies at the clinic are performed by Clinic Director Jacqueline Kung, MD, an endocrinologist who performs more than 300 biopsies every year. Dr. Kung holds the Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound, and every biopsy is done under ultrasound guidance. She is also the director of the Thyroid Disease Clinic where she sees many of the patients referred to the Thyroid Ultrasound and Fine Needle Aspiration Clinic.
What happens after I get my results?
Growths or nodules on the thyroid are often benign but biopsies are used to rule out the possibility of cancer. After each biopsy, Dr. Kung personally evaluates the samples with a pathologist who specializes in endocrine tumors. The most advanced molecular diagnostic techniques are available, including the Afirma gene expression classifier and testing for BRAF and RAS gene mutations and RET/PTC and PAX8/PPAR gamma rearrangements.
If the results show that there is no indication of cancer, your doctor will make recommendations for follow up care. If we do find cancer in your thyroid, your expert doctor will coordinate your care with a team of specialists, including those from surgery, oncology, radiology, pathology and nuclear medicine.
Working together, this team will develop an individualized care plan based on the type of thyroid cancer you’ve been diagnosed with, how advanced it is and your overall health.
As part of a major academic medical center in Boston, we offer some of the most advanced treatments, including minimally invasive surgery and radioactive iodine therapy, which destroys any remaining cancerous tissue.
What does this mean for me?
You will have experienced experts guiding your care and ensuring that you get the most advanced treatment available. These doctors will take the time to get to know you personally as part of finding the best therapy to get you back to living the healthiest life possible.