Conditions and symptoms associated with Thyroid
Low thyroid levels are seen in up to one in ten people. Up to half of people with an underactive thyroid gland may not be aware they have a thyroid condition. The only way to find out is to run some detailed blood tests to evaluate your thyroid function.
- Hypothyroidism or having an underactive thyroid may cause a lack of energy, getting cold easily, constipation, dry skin, and irregular menstrual periods.
- Hyperthyroidism or having an overactive thyroid can make you feel anxious, shaky, or tired. It can also cause trouble sleeping, muscle weakness, increased sweating, fast heartbeats, or frequent bowel movements.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these issues.
Understanding Thyroid nodules
Thyroid nodules are lumps that develop within the thyroid gland and are fairly common. Ultrasound can detect thyroid nodules in 20-65% of individuals. The instance of nodules is more common in women and tends to increase with age. The good news is that the vast majority of nodules are non-cancerous or benign. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 90% of nodules are benign.
Although less common, some nodules do contain cancer. It is not possible to differentiate benign from cancerous nodules by symptoms or clinical exams alone. Therefore, evaluation with a detailed ultrasound is recommended. Suspicion for cancer is based on the ultrasound appearance of the nodules, family history and prior exposure to neck radiation. Nodules of concern are further evaluated by a small needle biopsy, which can be done in the comfort of an outpatient setting at Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology offices. Of the many types of Thyroid cancer, papillary cancer is the most common, but also has the best prognosis. In the majority of patients, removing the Thyroid gland harboring the cancer is curative.
Thyroid specialists dedicated to exceptional care
At Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology, our board-certified physicians are experts in all Thyroid conditions, including Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism, Thyroid nodules and Thyroid cancer. These conditions typically require monitoring and diagnostic tests as part of the treatment regimen. We are a full-service clinic and offer Thyroid ultrasounds and biopsies here, on-site in the comfort of an outpatient setting for your convenience.
Thyroid patients can expect to see their Endocrinologist in addition to a Physician Extender in developing and maintaining a treatment plan for their condition. Our staff is dedicated to providing individualized care. We don’t believe in a “one size fits all” treatment plan. Our physicians and extenders take the time to get to know their patients and work diligently to find a plan that is based upon the patient’s needs.
We are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care for our patients’ Thyroid and Parathyroid needs. Texas Diabetes & Endocrinology is proud to hold accreditations by the American Institute of Ultrasound Medicine (AIUM) and Endocrine Certification in Neck Ultrasound (ECNU). These certifications are only awarded to clinics and doctors that demonstrate high quality Thyroid imaging and Thyroid knowledge. They are a testament to our commitment to clinical excellence and patient care.
Thyroid Biopsy (Fine Needle Aspiration) Information:
If you have a thyroid nodule that requires a biopsy, this procedure will be performed in our office. Your doctor will perform this service with ultrasound-guided technology. The process takes roughly 10-20 minutes. There are no food or activity restrictions prior to or after your biopsy. Several samples are obtained and are sent to an outside diagnostic company called Veracyte for analysis. Results typically take 1-2 weeks to return. Veracyte will bill for this service separately. You may call Veracyte with questions about billing/insurance at (888) 923-4762.
Please contact your insurance company directly to find out if Veracyte is an in-network provider. To determine your out of pocket expense, provide the following information to your insurance company.
- CPT/Procedure codes:
Cytopathology (88173) – this test is performed for all biopsies
Afirma GEC (81545) – this test is performed if the cytopathology is indeterminate
Afirma MTC (81479) – this test is performed when requested by your doctor
Afirma BRAF (81210) – this test is performed when requested by your doctor