Your Neck or Thyroid Biopsy under Ultrasound – Guidance

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What is an Ultrasound guided Biopsy?
It is a simple, quick and effective procedure to take a sample of tissue from the neck or thyroid.

What are the benefits?
Previous tests may have shown a possible abnormality in the neck. The purpose of the biopsy is to help with the diagnosis. Ultrasound helps to maximise accuracy and quality of the sample taken.

What are the risks?
This is considered a safe procedure which almost never results in complications. Occasionally there may be bruising or a small haematoma (collection of blood under the skin).

Parking at the Hospital
The hospital operates a pay on foot parking system. The hospital has plenty of car parking spaces, but you may not be able to park close to the entrance. It is important that you arrive on time. If you are late for your appointment, we can’t guarantee that you will be seen and you may have to rebook. You are advised to allow plenty of time, 15 to 20 minutes, to find a space before your appointment.

Where do I book in?
You should book in at the main X-Ray department. You will find directions on your appointment letter.

What happens then?
You will be taken into the scanning room. You need to be able to easily expose the part of your body which is to be scanned so please dress accordingly. A scoop neck top or similar will be ideal. Paper towelling will be used to protect your clothes from the gel. If you are required to remove anything other than your external clothes, we will provide you with a sheet or gown as appropriate.

What happens during the procedure?
Ultrasound is used to guide a needle through the skin into the correct position in the neck. The biopsy needle collects small pieces of tissue which are sent to the laboratory to be examined under a microscope.

Will it hurt?
A local anaesthetic injection will be used to numb the skin. This can sting a little. A biopsy needle is then inserted through the skin and a few cores of tissue will be taken from the lump or swelling. Pressure may be felt in the neck as the samples are taken, but the biopsy should not be painful.

How long will it take?
The process of carrying out an ultrasound guided neck biopsy usually takes about 30 minutes and you may be asked to stay in the department for 10 minutes afterwards. Unless you are delayed, for example by emergency patients, your total time in the Department is likely to be 50-60 minutes.

Are there any aftereffects?
The procedure is usually well tolerated. You should be able to drive home but may prefer someone to drive you. You can eat and drink as normal. As the local anaesthetic wears off you may feel some discomfort. This can be managed with your usual painkillers, and paracetamol is recommended. After the procedure, pressure will be applied to the site to help prevent bleeding and subsequent bruising. If the area should bleed again, pressure and a cold compress should help.

When will I get the results?
Results will go to your referring doctor. This usually takes up to two weeks. If you have a query about having the neck or thyroid biopsy under ultrasound guidance, please ring the Radiology Department on 01908 996930 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Web Links
For further information you may like to visit the following sites: – For further information about Milton Keynes Hospital – This is the web site of the Royal College of Radiologists and click into the virtual hospital this will give you a lot of useful information about the work of a Radiology Department.
For a hospital site map, please click here. Please park in the Multi storey car park and follow the instructions on your appointment letter.