New York Thyroid Center Establishes Unique Thyroid Biopsy Clinic

by Columbia Surgery on September 10, 2013

Amended 10/3/2013: We greatly apologize for our recent technical difficulties on our last BlogTalkRadio episode. In order to ensure all of our followers’ questions were answered, we are hosting a special rebroadcasting of “Thyroid Biopsy: What is it and when is it recommended” on October 9th at 3:30 PM/EDT. We hope you are able to join us.

Thyroid biopsy clinic offers single day evaluation of thyroid nodules

The New York Thyroid Center and the Section of Endocrine Surgery at NYP/Columbia, now offers a streamlined way of evaluating thyroid nodules. Under the guidance of Kevin Parrack, MD, Director of the Biopsy Clinic, this unique clinic features multidisciplinary collaboration to provide rapid on-site performance and evaluation of fine needle aspiration biopsies.

What is the thyroid biopsy clinic and why is it unique?

134459071For many thyroid nodules, a fine needle biopsy is the most important step in making a diagnosis and subsequent treatment plan. Typically after a physician has identified a thyroid nodule by ultrasound, it can take weeks, if not months, for a patient to have their biopsy. However, the Biopsy Clinic at the New York Thyroid Center provides an efficient and well-organized single-day process that eliminates the need for multiple visits.

At the new single-day clinic at NYP/Columbia, experts will perform the ultrasound, decide whether the findings require a biopsy, and if needed, perform the biopsy. The team collaborates with an onsite cytopathologist (a pathology specialist who studies and diagnoses disease at the cellular level), who determines if an adequate sample was obtained during the biopsy or if another sample is needed. This immediate feedback may reduce the number of passes with the biopsy needle and saves the patient the possibility of repeat visits to obtain more samples. Results are typically available in one to two days.

“Our goal is to provide one-stop shopping for the patient,” says Dr. Parrack.

When does a thyroid nodule require biopsy?

Upon a formal ultrasound, a specialist will examine the size and characteristics of the nodule. If it is larger than a specific size or possesses suspicious features such as irregular margins, calcifications, or a solid consistency, the nodule may be deemed at risk for cancer and require biopsy.

On occasion, a patient may not have a specific nodule, but they may be experiencing symptoms such as severe pain or a rapidly enlarging thyroid. In these cases, biopsy may be suggested as well.

Scanning with ultrasoundHow is a thyroid biopsy performed?

Fine needle aspiration, or FNA, is the test of choice for evaluation of thyroid nodules. This is a minimally invasive procedure that extracts cells from the lesion for microscopic examination. During FNA, a tiny needle (smaller than those used to draw blood) is used to remove a sample of cells from the thyroid nodule, precisely localized under ultrasound guidance. The procedure is highly accurate, fast, scar-free, and safe. Most patients report that it typically feels like a small pinch, and does not usually

Endocrine Surgery

Kevin Parrack, MD

require anesthesia. Safe for all ages, FNA is an outpatient procedure requiring no patient preparation and allows people to resume normal activity immediately.

How can I find out more about thyroid nodules and where to get evaluated?

Learn more about thyroid biopsies by tuning in to our BlogTalkRadio program, Thyroid Biopsy: What is it and when is it recommended” in honor of Thyroid Cancer Awareness month. On Wednesday, October 9th at 3:30 PM/EDT, you will have the opportunity to speak directly to Dr. Kevin Parrack and Dr. Salila Kurra, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center about your questions and concerns. There is also more information at our website:


Salila Kurra, MD

How do I participate in this program? What will be discussed?

In addition to the above questions, topics to be discussed in this upcoming Blog Talk Radio episode include:

      - Importance of early detection

      – Risk factors for thyroid cancer

      – FNA’s Bethesda classification system and interpreting results

      – Thyroid cancer treatment options

      – Thyroid cysts and follow-up

We are sorry, but this Blog Talk Radio show has already occurred. You can listen to an archived copy of this program in the player embedded below this message. Since this a recording, no one is available to answer calls or emails.

For more information about the thyroid biopsy clinic or to request an appointment, please visit or call 212.305.6969.

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