Some weeks ago a needle was thrust through my neck in order to obtain a sample of my thyroid for a biopsy. This post describes that experience. My purpose for doing so is to provide insight to others who are about to experience the same. If you are such a person, then you have probably already read about the procedure, so I won’t cover the technical details, just the experience from a patient’s viewpoint.
This all started in November when I undertook a thyroid ultrasound in order to discover the reason that I found swallowing and breathing slightly uncomfortable when in bed. A couple of nodules were discovered on my thyroid, one of which was quite large. The “C” word was then mentioned to me (by which I mean cancer).
So I needed a biopsy performed. This is done via the aforementioned needle in the neck – Fine Needle Aspiration.
From a patient’s perspective the whole thing is scary. I was taken into a room and told to lay on the standard medical bench. A pillow was placed under my neck and I was instructed to put my head back, stretch out my throat and remain extremely still. Some form of anaesthetic was swabbed over my neck and then I was warned that I would feel a pushing sensation.
Pushing. Hmmmm. More like prodding. Like someone getting their finger and pushing as hard as they could into my throat. They did this three times and each time lasted maybe two to four seconds. It did not hurt, but it was very unpleasant.
And that was it. I was in and out in less than fifteen minutes.
I was also surprised to find that the puncture point was closer to my collar bone than the centre of my throat, even though the feeling seemed to be higher.
So if you are about to undergo a Fine Needle Aspiration, I recommend that you don’t feel to intimidated by the prospect. Yes, it is unpleasant but it is not painful – at least it was not for me.
As an aside, the results showed that I don’t have cancer. But subsequent testing has led to a recommendation that I have my thyroid removed. I am not particularly thrilled by this and will be contemplating my options.
Hoping you are all well.