Thyroid nodules are growths or lumps that grow on the thyroid, the butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck. In many patients with thyroid growths, the lumps are benign; however, these growths can indicate cancer or other neck gland conditions. At the Thyroid Surgery Center of Excellence, we specialize in treating these conditions like thyroid growths using innovative techniques performed by expert physicians.
Diagnosing a Nodule
Many thyroid lumps go undiagnosed because they may never produce symptoms in the patient. In fact, nearly half the population may, at some point, develop a nodule on their thyroid. Nodules are typically discovered during a routine exam, if the growth is big enough to be felt, or during some type of radiologic study like a CT Scan or ultrasound.
If a thyroid lump is suspected, a doctor will likely perform a ultrasound test to confirm. Once a thyroid lump is discovered, however, it is impossible to determine from imaging whether or not a the nodule is cancerous. A fine needle aspirate biopsy is the only dependable way to determine whether a growth is benign or it is in fact cancer.
Typically, nodules found on the neck glands are benign and do not require treatment. If cancer is found through a biopsy, though, surgical removal will likely be required. Here at our surgical center in Los Angeles, our board-certified head and neck surgeons are experts in cancer surgery. Using only the least invasive, most innovative techniques and state-of-the-art technology, our Los Angeles doctors are usually able to perform thyroidectomies on an outpatient basis.
Our board-certified head and neck surgeons at our surgical center in Los Angeles know that understanding every aspect of a neck gland condition can be difficult. They have answered several frequently asked questions for you here to help clarify any concerns you may have about thyroid nodules:
Q: How can I tell if I have a nodule?
A: Many patients will never know they have a nodule, as they tend to be very small or the patient never experiences symptoms of a thyroid disorder. Thyroid nodules that are big enough may be felt by a physician during a routine physical exam or discovered during an MRI, CT Scan, or ultrasound.
Q: Are nodules painful?
A: Typically, no. However, if large enough they may cause some discomfort or pain in the neck. Some may even cause a feeling of pressure in the throat or make it difficult to swallow.
Q: What is the best treatment for a thyroid nodule?
A: The best treatment for your nodule will be dependent on your particular case. It is always advisable to have a fine needle biopsy performed by your physician to assess whether or not the nodule is cancerous. That will then determine the next course of action.
Q: Who should perform a nodule removal?
A: A nodule removal surgery should always be performed by a board-certified head and neck surgeon like those here at our surgical center in Los Angeles. Because of the delicate nature of the neck, you always want to make sure you are in well-experienced hands and our surgeons are leaders in the field of neck gland surgery.
Q: What is a nodule removal surgery like?
A: Here at the La Peer Center of Excellence, our board-certified head and neck surgeons are experts at performing minimally invasive nodule removals. In most cases, the surgery is an outpatient procedure in which the surgeon uses the smallest incision possible to limit scarring and the patient is able to return home the same day. Each patient’s condition is so unique, though, so our doctors will go over your specific procedure with you during your consultation.
Call Us Today To Learn More About Thyroid Nodules
If you are concerned you may have a thyroid nodule, please contact the Thyroid Surgery Center of Excellence in Los Angeles at (888) 817-1439 today. Our highly regarded head and neck surgeons are here to help you with your condition, and to address all of your concerns. The doctors at the our surgica center in Los Angeles strive to provide the best patient care possible and to help you overcome your unique thyroid disorder.
For additional information about how our specialists can help you or for more information about neck gland nodules, please contact us today.
Please read this WedMD article on thyroid nodules.
Next, please learn about thyroid cancer.