Thyroid ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to evaluate abnormalities of the thyroid gland. The thyroid is an endocrine organ located in your neck in front of your trachea (“wind pipe”). Hormones produced by the thyroid gland help regulate your heart rate, body weight, and other metabolic functions. Ultrasound assists doctors in evaluating thyroid nodules, enlargement, or inflammation. This test is non-invasive and does not expose the patient to ionizing radiation (X-rays). Thyroid ultrasound uses a specially-designed transducer (probe).
Five to 10 percent of adults may develop a lump in their thyroid gland detectable by a doctor’s physical exam. Up to 70 percent of adults have thyroid nodules detectable by ultrasound. Even though most of these nodules are benign (non-cancerous), ultrasound helps doctors evaluate which thyroid nodules might be malignant (cancerous).
More basic information on ultrasound is available in the About Ultrasound section.
Thyroid ultrasound is an effective way to evaluate thyroid abnormalities. The exam is especially useful in differentiating between solid and fluid-filled nodules. Nodules filled with fluid (cysts) are less likely to be cancerous. Thyroid ultrasound is recommended to:
Since the images can be produced in real time, thyroid ultrasound can also guide doctors in taking biopsies of any nodules to test for malignancy.
Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for the exam. Otherwise, no special preparation is required for thyroid ultrasound.
To schedule a thyroid ultrasound, please call our scheduling team at (512) 453-6100 or toll free at (800) 998-8214. A provider referral is required to make an appointment.
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to interpret radiological examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to the provider who referred you to ARA. The physician will then share the results with you. Your report will also be available on the patient portal within 3 business days.
If you are getting your ultrasound at ARA and want to know more,...
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.