What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland is located on the front of the neck above the collar bone and is described as butterfly shaped. The main role of the thyroid gland is to regulate your metabolism. Your metabolism is your body’s ability to take the food you consume and convert it into energy. After a physical examination at the doctor’s office, you may be given a requisition for a thyroid ultrasound if the doctor felt any abnormal lumps on the neck. An ultrasound will allow the doctor to visually see what is causing the lumps; as well detect any abnormalities that might be occurring in the thyroid.
What is the purpose of a Thyroid Ultrasound?
- To analyze lumps in the neck discovered during a physical assessment in order to determine whether they are from the thyroid
- Observe appearance of thyroid as well as thyroid nodules
- To measure the size of the thyroid or thyroid nodules in order to assess their growth overtime
- To check for number of nodules
Common Thyroid Disorders
- Hyperthyroidism: when you have too much thyroid hormone present in your body
- Hypothyroidism: when you have too little thyroid hormone circulating in your body
- Goiters: A bulge in the neck that is often associated with hyperthyroidism
- Thyroid Cancer
- Solitary thyroid nodules: lumps that are located within the thyroid
- Thyroditis: Inflammation of the thyroid gland which may be causing abnormal function of the gland.
What to Expect from My Thyroid Ultrasound?
Please arrive early to your ultrasound so you have time to check in with the receptionist before your scheduled appointment time. You will be asked to remove all jewellery before proceeding. Please wear loose fitting clothing and a top that will allow easy access to the neck. An experienced sonographer will be performing the ultrasound. You will be lying down on a table on your back while conductive gel will be applied to your neck. The sonographer will place an ultrasound probe on the gel and begin to move the probe around in order to get a picture of your thyroid gland and the surrounding tissues. The ultrasound will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. For any further questions or concerns before your appointment please contact your family physician.