There are no known harmful effects linked to the medical use of ultrasound.
- What will it be like?
You will be lying down on an exam table, as the sonographer uses an ultrasound device to take images of your thyroid. This is done over the skin without any invasive procedures
- Who will perform the exam?
In most cases, a sonographer, who is a professional trained to conduct ultrasound examinations, will perform the exam. He or she obtains and records a series of pictures. Your doctor then reviews the pictures. The doctor may discuss your exam with the sonographer, and will then give you an official explanation or interpretation of what was seen on the sonogram. This interpretation may not be available immediately after you have your exam. In some cases, the doctor also will examine you to confirm or resolve uncertain or unclear findings.
- Are there any special preparations for the exam?
There is no special preparation for this examination.
- Will it hurt?
There is no pain involved in an ultrasound examination of the thyroid. The transducer is placed on your skin surface after a gel is applied to your neck to provide better contact.
- How long will it take?
The length of time for the examination will depend on the specific reasons your doctor requested it. The reasons will affect how complex the examination needs to be.
It may be difficult for a sonographer or doctor to obtain the desired pictures if you have a short or thick neck. Also, if there are multiple nodules or cysts, it can be difficult for the doctor to see each one individually. An ultrasound examination of the thyroid cannot determine the exact cause of a nodule; however, there are characteristics of the image that can help the doctor determine if there is a high chance of cancer (malignant) or a low chance of cancer (benign). Your doctor may recommend further tests, such as an ultrasound-guided biopsy or a fine-needle aspiration. Finally, the quality of the ultrasound examination also depends on the examiner’s experience and the type of equipment used.
AIUM ultrasound practice accreditation is a voluntary review process that allows practices to demonstrate that they meet or exceed nationally recognized standards in the performance and interpretation of diagnostic ultrasound examinations.
Practices accredited by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) have demonstrated competency in every aspect of their operation, including:
- Personnel Education, Training, and Experience
- Document Storage and Record Keeping
- Policies and Procedures Safeguarding Patients, Ultrasound Personnel, and Equipment
- Quality Assurance
- Case Studies
AIUM Accreditation demonstrates our commitment to clinical excellence and commitment to the highest quality patient care.