Your thyroid gland balances your body’s metabolism, but it’s just a small gland in your throat. It’s subject to many abnormalities, causing medical conditions that include hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. To find the cause of your symptoms and to treat them, your Queens, NY endocrinologist may request that you have a thyroid ultrasound. The testing procedure allows your doctor to see your thyroid gland on a computer screen. To get an accurate diagnosis, call the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center today.
An ultrasound, also called a diagnostic medical sonography or just sonography, is an imaging method your Queens, NY doctor uses to assess the soft tissue structures within your body. The technology uses high-frequency sound waves emitted from a wand-like instrument. Your primary care doctor or endocrinologist positions the wand outside your body — or occasionally, even inside your body — to produce images on a computer monitor.
Your endocrinologist at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center uses these images to assess a variety of diseases and medical conditions. It provides visual images of your tissue, which your doctor analyzes to refine a diagnosis or rule out other conditions. Once a firm diagnosis has been reached, the ultrasound helps your doctor determine the best course of treatment for you.
Occasionally, your physician may use an ultrasound as part of a normal physical examination. And since an ultrasound produces a continuous series of images, unlike an x-ray, it’s also the perfect tool to use to guide a needle to the correct spot for a treatment or to an abnormal growth for a biopsy.
Your thyroid gland sits in front of your windpipe, inside your throat. The gland secretes hormones to balance your metabolism. If your endocrinologist suggests an ultrasound for your thyroid, the concern may for thyroid nodules, gout or other abnormal growths. Your doctor also may request a thyroid ultrasound if other tests come back abnormal.
Your endocrinologist may wish to monitor the tissue in and around your thyroid regularly, especially if you’ve had thyroid problems in the past or have a family history of thyroid conditions. Along with your thyroid ultrasound, your physician may request:
An ultrasound device emits soundwaves that bounce back to create an image, similar to an echo or an x-ray. The different densities of the tissues hit by the soundwaves determine the resulting images. The machine detects and forms a picture of your thyroid, the surrounding tissue and any abnormal growths for your doctor to assess.
If growths are present, your doctor looks for specific characteristics that indicate the possible cause and whether other tests should be performed. The questions that need answers include:
You won’t need much preparation for most ultrasound tests. If you can’t keep still for the duration of the test — likely if a young child needs an ultrasound, for example — sedating medication may be recommended. Before the ultrasound test, you are:
Your technician or endocrinologist presses a small hand-held device called a transducer across your neck, throat, jaw or upper chest between your collar bones. The exact location is determined by the target gland or area. The transducer is moved carefully and slowly, back and forth, to get the best picture possible. The technician may need to press firmly in several areas during the procedure.
A thyroid ultrasound helps your doctor make the most accurate diagnosis, since the test allows your doctor to see your thyroid gland on a monitor during the test. Ultrasounds are quick and painless. Most thyroid ultrasound procedures take 30 minutes to an hour.
You’re able to return to normal activities immediately after your procedure. Your doctor receives an interpretation and analysis from a radiologist specially trained to read ultrasound images. That’s an advantage of a multi-specialty practice like the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY.
After the analysis, your thyroid specialist determines the best treatment for your thyroid nodules or other thyroid concerns. For the best care, contact your endocrinologist. You get the most accurate diagnosis and the most effective treatment.