Neck ultrasonography is the best, most sensitive and specific method of evaluating thyroid nodules, thyroid goiters, and neck lymph nodes.

Thyroid ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves that pass through the tissues to create images and can help the surgeon determine which nodules are worrisome, if there is evidence of thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s or Graves disease), and if any surrounding lymph nodes look suspicious.

Ultrasound can also be used to perform a fine needle aspiration biopsy of a thyroid nodule or neck lymph node.

During Your Visit

Dr. Goldfarb performs her own thyroid ultrasound in clinic on all patients referred for thyroid nodules or goiter; it is an integral part of the consultation and simply an extension of the physical exam. As a surgeon, her overall experience and understanding of the disease process, both in and out of the operating room, allows her to uniquely evaluate abnormalities in the thyroid and create a personalized plan at the time of the visit.

Specific ultrasound characteristics will determine if you need a thyroid biopsy, which can be performed at the same visit. All ultrasound images will be reviewed in real time so that you can truly visualize the thyroid nodule or goiter of concern.

All ultrasound images will be reviewed with you in real time. 

Dr. Melanie Goldfarb performing an ultrasound

Other Thyroid Imaging: Thyroid Scan

Patients are given a very small dose of a radioactive isotope and then serial images of the thyroid gland are taken. This isotope is taken up by the thyroid. If a single nodule is the cause of hyperthyroidism, just that nodule will light up. If the entire thyroid gland is involved, ie in Grave’s disease, then the entire thyroid gland will be ‘hot’ on the thyroid scan.