Thyroid No Surgery 2: The Art of Refusing a Thyroid Needle Biopsy with the Help of a Second Opinion
When too many routine or screening thyroid ultrasounds are done without an indication there are many patients found with small “harmless nodules.” The knee jerk reaction from your primary is to send you to the radiologist for a biopsy. Even though it would have been better to refuse the ultrasound it is now too late for that. The next move is to question your physician why a biopsy is needed. “Just because it is there is not a reason. Once you consent for a thyroid biopsy you open up another can of worms. The size and quality of the risk factors of the nodule by ultrasound need to be determined BEFORE you let them send you for a biopsy. A second opinion by an endocrinologist (www.aace.com) can help you decide to either refuse the biopsy or that it is clinically needed for diagnose. Doing biopsies of low risk small nodules can result in referral to the local surgeon who may recommend surgery even though it was not indicated that a biopsy should have been done in the first place. A major surgery can result because you failed to ask questions and get help from an endocrinologist BEFORE the biopsy.
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