US Guided Aspiration And Decom of Thyroid Cysts

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Navigating Thyroid Wellness: The Power of Ultrasound-Guided Aspiration and Decompression for Thyroid Cysts

What are thyroid cysts?

Thyroid cysts are benign fluid-filled lesions that can develop within the thyroid gland. Thyroid cysts can arise due to various factors, including inflammation, degeneration of thyroid nodules, or a blockage in the thyroid ducts. 

While most thyroid cysts are non-cancerous and do not cause significant health issues, they can sometimes grow, causing discomfort or cosmetic concerns. 

What is ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression?

Ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression is a minimally invasive procedure to address symptomatic thyroid cysts. This procedure is an effective and safe way to alleviate symptoms and prevent cyst recurrence without surgery.

fine needle aspiration thyroid
Ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression of thyroid cysts or nodules is a minimally invasive, safe, and effective treatment.

What are the benefits of ultrasound-guided aspiration? 

Ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression is a specialist procedure at the forefront of modern thyroid care. The benefits are as follows:

  • Precise and accurate treatment and diagnosis: ultrasound-guide aspiration allows for a targeted approach, allowing your endocrinologist to navigate and aspirate fluid from thyroid cysts precisely. It utilises real-time ultrasound imaging for pinpoint accuracy.
  • Minimally invasive: conducted on an outpatient basis, patients can often resume their regular activities shortly after the procedure with minimal discomfort.
  • Immediate relief and cosmetic benefits: ultrasound-guided aspiration not only provides relief from symptoms associated with thyroid cysts but can also lead to a reduction in the size of the cyst, addressing cosmetic concerns and restoring a more natural appearance to the neck.

How does ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression of thyroid cysts work? 

Ultrasound-guided aspiration begins with a detailed ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland. Once the cyst is identified, the ultrasound wand is placed over the cyst and a fine needle is precisely guided into the cavity, allowing fluid removal. This not only decompresses the cyst but also provides a sample for analysis.

What should I expect from ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression of thyroid cysts?

An ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression of thyroid cysts typically involves the following steps: 

  1. Patient assessment: a thorough evaluation is conducted before the procedure, including a medical history review and a physical examination. Ultrasound imaging is essential to assess the thyroid cyst's size, location, and characteristics.
  2. Patient preparation: the patient is positioned comfortably on an examination table in a way that allows easy access to the thyroid gland. The neck area is cleaned and sterilised. Local anaesthesia is administered to numb the skin and underlying tissues.
  3. Ultrasound guidance: an ultrasound probe visualises the thyroid cyst in real-time. This provides precise guidance for needle placement and minimises the risk of unintentional damage to surrounding structures.
  4. Aspiration and decompression: a fine-gauge needle is inserted into the cyst under ultrasound guidance. The cyst's fluid content is aspirated, typically yielding a clear or straw-coloured liquid. The cyst can be decompressed by removing most of the fluid so the neck lump is no longer felt. 
  5. Monitoring: the procedure is closely monitored throughout, ensuring the correct placement of the needle and the complete aspiration of cystic fluid. Aspiration may be repeated if necessary to ensure that the cyst is effectively decompressed.
  6. Post-procedure care: after the procedure, the patient is monitored for a short period. A small bandage may be applied to the needle insertion site. The patient can drink or eat immediately and usually resume normal activities on the same day. Strenuous exercises and neck exertion should be avoided for a few days to minimise the risk of bleeding.

Ultrasound-guided aspiration and decompression of thyroid cysts is a valuable technique for managing symptomatic cysts in the thyroid gland. It offers patients a minimally invasive alternative to surgical intervention, providing effective symptom relief and reducing the risk of cyst recurrence. 

At ACE Specialist Surgery and Endoscopy, we prioritise early detection, accurate diagnosis, and personalised treatment for thyroid conditions. Our multidisciplinary approach and compassionate care ensure our patients receive optimal care for their thyroid health. We are committed to improving the quality of life for individuals with thyroid disorders through our comprehensive thyroid screening and treatment services.

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Reyaz Moiz

Dr Reyaz Singaporewalla
Senior Consultant Endocrine and General Surgeon

MBBS (Bom), MS (Surg), DNB (Surg), FRCS (Edin), MMed (Singapore), FRCSEd.