What is a Thyroid Ultrasound and what does it do?
A thyroid and parathyroid ultrasound is an imaging test to check the thyroid gland and parathyroid glands. A thyroid ultrasound can help measure the size and shape of the thyroid gland, but it cannot tell how well the thyroid gland is working. Ultrasound also may be used to check the four parathyroid glands that lie behind or next to the thyroid.
Why is it done?
A thyroid and parathyroid ultrasound is done to:
- Check lumps (nodules) in the thyroid gland. A thyroid ultrasound can usually show the difference between a solid thyroid gland nodule and a simple fluid-filled sac (cyst
- Find out whether the thyroid gland is enlarged. A thyroid ultrasound may also be used to keep track of the size of the thyroid gland during treatment for a thyroid problem.
- Look for enlarged parathyroid glands caused by disease. Normal parathyroid glands are often difficult to see on ultrasound and cannot be felt during physical examination. But abnormal parathyroid glands may be enlarged and easily seen by ultrasound.
- Guide the placement of the needle during a thyroid biopsy.
Who performs the test?
An ultrasonographer specifically trained or certified in Ultrasound imaging.
Where does it take place?
Jackson Hospital Outpatient Center Hudnall Building, Room 110, located adjacent to the Hospital.
How long does it take?
This exam generally takes about 30 minutes to complete.
What can I do to make it a success?
- Bring your doctor’s orders with you when you come for your scheduled exam.
- Wear comfortable, easy to remove clothing.
- Follow all preparation instructions given to you by your physician’s office. If you have any questions, please call us for clarification. We want your exam to be as successful as possible.
What should I do before the exam?
No special preparation is needed for this study. You will need to remove jewelry from your head or neck before the test.
What happens during the exam?
First, the technologist will explain the exam and may ask you historical questions that aid in obtaining a more diagnostic exam. You may be asked to undress above the waist and drape a towel or sheet around your shoulders. Remove all jewelry from your head or around your neck.
You will lie on your back on a padded table with your neck stretched out and a pillow under your shoulders. Gel will be spread on your neck to improve the passage of the sound waves (they do not pass easily through air).
The transducer will be pressed lightly against your neck, then moved back and forth over your neck. A picture of your thyroid gland and the tissue around it can be seen on a video monitor. You may be asked to turn your head away from the side being scanned so the jawbone is out of the way.
What should I do after the exam?
The radiologist will review your image(s) and a final report will go to your ordering physician in 24-48 hours.
Ultrasound Department (at main hospital): (850) 718-2582
Ultrasound Department (at OP Center): (850) 526-6702
Radiology Department: (850) 718-2580
Hospital (main operator): (850) 526-2200