Thyroid Nodules

Elise M. Brett, MD, PC

Endocrinologists & Diabetes Specialists located in Upper East Side, New York, NY

Thyroid nodules are common, usually benign, lumps that form on your thyroid. At Elise M. Brett, MD, PC, in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Dr. Brett, a board-certified and fellowship-trained endocrinologist, diagnoses and treats thyroid nodules. Dr. Brett is endocrine-certified in neck ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy, which are critical tools to diagnose thyroid nodules. If you have an abnormal lump on the front of your neck or have symptoms of unusual thyroid activity, call the New York City office or schedule a consultation online today.

Thyroid Nodules Q & A

What are thyroid nodules?

Thyroid nodules are small solid or fluid-filled lumps that form in or on your thyroid. Your thyroid is the small butterfly-shaped gland at the front of your neck that controls almost all of your body’s critical functions. 

You may not experience any symptoms if you have a thyroid nodule except a lump on your neck. However, if your nodule compresses on other structures in your throat, you may have pain, or your voice may become hoarse. You might also have trouble swallowing.

Sometimes thyroid nodules overproduce thyroid hormones and cause an overactive thyroid. 

If you have a "hot thyroid nodule, you may have symptoms of hyperthyroidism including:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Sensitive to heat

Thyroid nodules are sometimes present if you have Hashimoto’s disease — an autoimmune condition that causes hypothyroidism. If this is the case, you may feel fatigued, gain weight, and your hair, skin, and nails become dry and brittle.

What causes thyroid nodules?

Thyroid nodules are an overgrowth of thyroid tissue. The nodules usually consist of healthy thyroid tissue and are benign. Some of the conditions that trigger thyroid nodules include:

  • Thyroiditis
  • Iodine deficiencies
  • Hashimoto’s disease
  • Cysts caused by thyroid adenomas

In rare cases, your thyroid nodule may be caused by thyroid cancer.

How are thyroid nodules diagnosed?

Dr. Brett is endocrine-certified in neck ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy. She provides both of these tests in her office to examine your thyroid and identify any growths on your thyroid.

She sends biopsy specimens for cytology and molecular marker testing, including Afirma®, ThyroSeq®, and ThyraMIR™ tests.

How are thyroid nodules treated?

Treatment for thyroid nodules depends on the type of growth and how it’s impacting your health. For example, if you have a small, benign nodule that’s not causing disruptive symptoms, Dr. Brett might recommend waiting and watching. However, if your nodule is interfering with your health, she may recommend thyroid suppression therapy to prevent the nodule from growing.

If your nodule is causing hyperthyroidism, Dr. Brett might suggest, anti-thyroid medicine or a treatment like radioactive iodine or surgery to get rid of the nodule and overactive tissue.

If your nodule is cancerous, Dr. Brett offers partners with leading surgeons and nuclear medicine specialists to deliver appropriate and effective treatment for thyroid cancer.

Call Elise M. Brett, MD, PC or make an appointment online for specialist diagnosis and treatment for thyroid nodules.