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The thyroid cyst corresponds to a cavity or a closed sac that can appear in the thyroid gland, which is filled with fluid, the most common being the so-called colloid, and which in most cases does not lead to the appearance of signs or symptoms, being identified after performing tests.
In cases where the cyst increases in size, it is possible that symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, hoarseness and neck pain may appear, and it is important that the doctor is consulted for an evaluation.
Most thyroid cysts are small and disappear on their own due to spontaneous resorption by the body itself, however in other cases it may be related to malignant changes, and it is important that they are identified and the contents aspirated, especially when they are larger and is accompanied by other signs and symptoms.
Symptoms of thyroid cyst
In most cases the thyroid cyst does not lead to the appearance of signs or symptoms, however when they increase in size over time, some signs and symptoms may appear, such as:
- Difficulty swallowing;
- Neck pain and discomfort;
- Difficulty breathing, although rare.
Most of the time, when these symptoms are verified, the thyroid cyst is palpable, that is, the person or the doctor can identify the presence of the cyst just by touching the neck, which is the place where it is located the thyroid. In these cases, it is very important that tests are carried out to verify the severity of the cyst and the need for specific treatment.
How the diagnosis is made
The diagnosis of the cyst is made by performing imaging tests that evaluate the thyroid, especially thyroid ultrasound, in which the presence of the cyst in the gland can be observed, as well as characteristics. In other words, through this examination, the doctor can verify if the edges of the cyst have irregularities and if there is solid content in the cyst, which may be indicative of malignancy.
In addition to thyroid ultrasound, the FNA exam, also known as Fine Needle Aspiration Puncture, is usually performed, in which the entire contents of the cyst is aspirated from its interior and evaluated, which provides information to the physician about the severity of the cyst. Understand what is and how the PAAF is made.
Treatment for thyroid cyst
As most of the time the cyst is reabsorbed by the body itself, the doctor's recommendation may be just to monitor the evolution of the cyst, that is, if it grows and leads to the appearance of signs or symptoms.
However, in cases where the cyst is large and causes discomfort, pain or difficulty in swallowing, for example, it may be necessary to perform aspiration of the cyst contents and/or removal through surgery and, after laboratory analysis, if there are signs of malignancy, it may be necessary to initiate a more specific treatment, which may involve treatment with radioactive iodine, for example. See how radioactive iodine treatment is done.