Many people have concerns about their thyroid health. The thyroid gland can have a significant effect on overall health and wellness, and the gland may become the site of cysts, nodules, or tumors that could point to serious problems. A thyroid ultrasound is one important part of diagnosing illness in the gland. At the convenient Hialeah technology center at Carreras Medical Center, we offer an on-site, state-of-the-art ultrasound facility so that you can get the diagnosis you need without going to a hospital. 

Why Do You Need a Neck Ultrasound?

If you go for a thyroid function test and have abnormal results, or if your doctor suspects that you may have a growth of some kind on the thyroid gland, he or she might order an ultrasound of the thyroid gland. This test can also further examine an overactive or underactive thyroid, although a doctor will typically use blood tests to diagnose these issues. These are common health problems that can significantly affect overall health, energy, and fertility. 

A normal thyroid ultrasound can provide a high-resolution picture of your glands and organs. The technology uses sound waves to produce images from inside the body; sound waves beyond the range of hearing bounce off of the tissues of the body, creating an image that can reveal health problems or concerns in the neck area. Ultrasound technology is risk-free and painless. It operates on the same principles as the sonar used by submarines or the natural sound detection of bats. Neck ultrasounds do not use any radiation, and the overall scan at our Hialeah technology center takes only around 30 minutes to an hour. 

Woman Getting Thyroid Ultrasound

Preparing for Your Ultrasound of the Thyroid

At Carreras Medical Center, we have the technology in-house to provide you with the ultrasound scan of your thyroid. This means that you will not have to travel to a hospital or another specialized facility to receive this diagnostic test. 

You can come in for your ultrasound scan without any special preparation at home. In most cases, the technologists will ask you to remove necklaces, scarves, and other items that can block a clear scan of the neck, remove your shirt, wear a medical covering, and lay on your back for the ultrasound procedure. 

In some cases, your doctor may use an injectable contrast agent to improve the clarity or visibility of potential issues on the ultrasound results. Our professional medical office staff would perform any such injection before the procedure begins.

The Normal Thyroid Ultrasound Procedure

When you visit Carreras Medical Center for your ultrasound, our experienced technicians will place a pad under your neck in order to expose the thyroid area for the scan. In some cases, you will sit for the scan, while in other cases, the technician may ask you to lay down. 

A gel applied to the skin can enhance the glide of the ultrasound probe in the area, producing a clearer image. This may feel a bit cold on first application but will gradually warm to the temperature of your skin. The technician will then run the ultrasound probe or transducer over the area of the skin near your thyroid gland. This should be a comfortable, pain-free experience. 

During the procedure, the technician will be able to see the image of your thyroid gland on the screen. The transducer sends sound waves and receives echoing sound waves in return. The computer attached to the probe instantly measures both, producing the resulting images. The technician will save these images for presentation to your radiologist.

This means that your radiologist can determine whether the image is clear enough to evaluate and diagnose. While your technician can perform the procedure for you, only our physicians can make a diagnosis or explain the results and images to you. 

There are no risks associated with this procedure, and you will be able to go back to work, school, and daily life as soon as the test ends. You can simply wipe the gel away and resume your normal activities right away. If it is not wiped off, it is harmless and will dry quickly. 

What Shows Up on an Ultrasound of the Thyroid?

A neck ultrasound can help your doctor in diagnosing any unusual growths linked to an underactive or overactive thyroid. Both are very common concerns, especially for women. The test can also highlight any unusual growths, cysts, or tumors

Ultrasound images can show your doctor whether any growth on the thyroid gland is solid or filled with fluid. It can pinpoint the exact location of any unusual growth and the number of any nodules or cysts. The test can also show how blood is flowing to the area and whether growth or tumor has distinct boundaries. 

In some cases, an underactive or overactive thyroid or another illness of the gland may cause a goiter, or swelling of the thyroid gland. Your doctor can also use an ultrasound to detect and diagnose the presence of a goiter. 

Ultrasound of the Thyroid

Interpreting Your Normal Thyroid Ultrasound Results

A radiologist will interpret the images produced by the ultrasound of your thyroid and prepare a report for your doctor. At our Hialeah office, our in-house radiologists can communicate directly with your doctor. In some cases, the exam may answer any medical questions. In other cases, your doctor may request further follow-up. 

A subsequent ultrasound of the thyroid can show whether there have been any changes over time or whether growths have stayed the same. They can also indicate if a goiter has grown or reduced in size after other thyroid treatments. 

The ultrasound can help to identify differences between benign thyroid nodules and potential tumors. The vast majority of thyroid growths are benign in nature. If your doctor has concerns about any particular growth, he or she may recommend a biopsy. This might involve inserting a long, thin needle into the thyroid cyst in order to test its fluid and cells for cancerous tissue.

Even if you have benign cysts, your doctor may want you to receive further tests to determine the cause. He or she might also recommend more ultrasound tests in the future. Depending on the cause of any growths or tumors, the doctor could recommend other follow-up care or surgery to remove the growths or tumors. 

Schedule a Neck Ultrasound Today

Now that you’ve learned more about ultrasounds of the thyroid, it is clear why this type of painless, quick, and safe procedure can help you and your doctor better understand your health and take action in advance of any issues? If you want to know more about your thyroid health, contact Carreras Medical Center today to make an appointment for an ultrasound. You can use our simple online form or phone our Hialeah office at 305-884-8891.