How are benign thyroid nodules treated?

Updated: Jan 09, 2018
  • Author: Steven K Dankle, MD; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Nodules classified as benign can be safely followed with ultrasound at 6-18 month intervals with further intervention based on imaging features such as increased growth. Most thyroid nodules associated with benign cytopathology on FNAB can be managed without routine surgical referral, provided that adequate follow-up is possible. Although the incidence of false-negative results with FNAB is low, some physicians recommend repeat FNAB for confirmation 6-12 months after an initial diagnosis of a benign lesion or if the characteristics of the nodule change on follow-up examination. When a benign diagnosis is confirmed, referral to a surgeon is reasonable for patients with symptoms, such as dysphagia or discomfort, or concerns about cosmesis.

When findings from the aspirate are nondiagnostic, repeat the aspiration, possibly with ultrasonographic guidance. Nodules for which aspirates are repeated nondiagnostic may ultimately require surgical management. [22]


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