Randall T Weingarten MD
Surgery, Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgeon
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland, which makes hormones that regulate body’s metabolism. It is located in the middle of the lower neck, below the larynx (voice box) and wraps around the front of the trachea (windpipe).
Diseases of the thyroid gland are very common and affect millions of Americans. The most common diseases are an overactive or an underactive gland. Patients may also develop masses or nodules in their thyroid glands, which can be either benign or malignant.
The vast majority of thyroid nodules are benign. About 1 in 20 thyroid nodules are malignant. Fine needle aspiration biopsy is a useful test in diagnosing malignancy in a thyroid nodule. During the test, a small needle is passed through the skin and underlying soft tissues into the thyroid nodule and cells are extracted. The cells are then analyzed by a cytopathologist. If a malignancy is diagnosed or suspected, partial or complete removal of the thyroid gland may be necessary. If the nodule is benign, observation with serial ultrasound examinations is often undertaken.