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Discharge Instructions for Fine-Needle Thyroid Biopsy

You had a procedure called fine-needle thyroid biopsy. This biopsy was done to assess a nodule or cyst in your thyroid gland or enlargement of the thyroid. During the biopsy, a very thin needle is inserted through the skin into the gland. The needle is used to remove a small amount of tissue from the gland. (This may be done more than one time to be sure to get cells from all parts of the nodule.) Or the needle is used to drain fluid from a cyst. The tissue or fluid is then studied in a lab. 

Home care

Tips to take care of yourself at home: 

  • You will have a small adhesive bandage on your biopsy site. Leave the bandage in place for 4 to 6 hours. After this time, you don't need to keep it covered. 

  • If you feel discomfort after the biopsy, take over-the-counter pain medicine. Do not take aspirin.

  • Ask your healthcare provider when you can return to work and normal activities. This will likely be the same day as your procedure.

Getting your results

Your biopsy results may take a few days. When the results are ready, your healthcare provider will discuss them with you and tell you what, if anything, needs to be done next. 


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by your healthcare provider.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • Bleeding that won’t stop

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher

  • Increasing pain, redness, tenderness, or drainage at the biopsy site

  • Swelling of the biopsy site

Be sure you understand what problems you should watch for and know how to reach the healthcare provider after hours and on weekends. 

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.