Ultrasound on thyroid - scanned face too?

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Hi, I have recently been diagnosed with hypothyroidism and had to have a routine ultrasound to make sure all was ok. Just wondering what people's experiences are with these? The sonographer scanned my thyroid, then afterwards said she just had to do my saliva glands too, so did up under my chin, then in front of my ears on my face too? Does this sound right? It seems totally unrelated to me?

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  • Posted

    I've had several ultrasounds. They may have gone up along the neck toward the ear, but I don't recall them looking under the chin. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply... yeah I'm a bit concerned as to why they would need to do my saliva glands, it seems totally unrelated... they went all around my neck, then she said "I'm just going under here to check the saliva glands" then she did them, then said "now I'm just going to go in front of your ear (on my face)"... guess I'll find out when I get the results

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    • Posted

      They're usually checking for nodules and the type. For example, I have a large compound nodule on one side, made of soft tissue that seems to get inflamed, and a calcified area. On the other side, I have some smaller cysts. Really, they're looking to see how advanced the thyroid disease is and whether the tissue looks healthy. 

      In my case, my bloodwork wasn't out of "normal" range. But the massive thyroid cyst screams hypothyroid disease. So I was diagnosed more by the ultrasound results and symptoms rather than blood tests. Although, it seems obvious to me by how I feel that a TSH above 2 is very hypothyroid.

      i have also had needle biopsies done. A really good doc will use an ultrasound to do the needle biopsy so they can see which sort of tissue they're sampling. All my cysts came back negative for cancer, but a needle biopsy is only a small portion, of course. 

      I was offered a radioactive uptake test,nwhich I declined, as radioactive iodine would damage healthy thyroid tissue.   I was also offered an option to surgically remove the half of my thyroid with the giant cyst, but I felt the risks were too high and opted for a more natural, holistic approach. Basically, thyroid surgery is extremely delicate and complex, not to mention bloody. And standard surgical procedure is to remove an entire half, or complete thyroidectomy.  There are surgeons who will remove only the undesirable growths, but it's very difficult to find a surgeon who will remove only the unhealthy tissue. 

      Im quite pleased with my choice to opt against surgery, because since, I've read many posts here from people who've had thyroidectomies, and I feel this should be only use as a last resort, because the medications can never really replace natural thyroid function. A dysfunctional thyroid is still better than none.

      Hooe that gives you a little more insight!

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    • Posted

      Yeah that makes sense...

      Do you know if an ultrasound is routine? The gp sent me for one based on my bloods but has already diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and I'm already on thyroxine as my tsh was 14. I think that's why she sent me for one, as less than 12 months ago it was 3.8...

      It's not the ultrasound that has thrown me, I'm just really confused about why the checked my face and saliva glands, I wouldn't have thought they would even be linked...

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    • Posted

      The ultrasound is pretty routine if you have a good doc. Really, anyone with suspected thyroid disease should have an ultrasound bc the body will basically start shutting down other organs in order to keep the thyroid functioning properly. And if you don't happen to do blood work at the appropriate time in the disease progression, you won't necessarily see the spiked blood levels. 

      The spike in your TSH is certainly concerning. Though, I have seen many postings here of blood work with much higher TSH, and it doesn't indicate cancer. 

      I once had an abdominal ultrasound done. The woman left the room five times to go check on something, but when I got the results back, the test showed nothing particularly interesting. What I found out later is my appendix had burst ten years prior, and I had massive scarring and pockets of infection riddled throughout my gut, as well as a likely swollen stump appendix from the ongoing infection. Now, while I'd had repeated bouts of sepsis over the ten years, nothing had shown as spiked in my bloodwork, because the normal ranges for white blood cells are so broad, and with ongoing illness, the body often stops fighting, as the condition becomes "normal". My point is that you can't rely completely on tests to tell you everything because they only tell you part of the picture. Then, on the ultrasound, if there isn't a proper medical billing or diagnosis code, or if they don't look at the imaging from an angle where you can see the problem, you pretty much miss the problem. 

      I think ink at this point, maybe the best way to think about it, us to be grateful  that your doc diagnosed you and yen sent you for an ultrasound right away, presumably as a precaution. In the thyroid posts I've read, more than half are about getting diagnosed and getting treatment. The other half are about the problems with ineffective treatment. Without realizing it, your doc has saved you a massive amount of grief by diagnosing and treating promptly. I'd go with the thought that you're super lucky for the moment to have a doc that's all over things.

      Meanwhile, there are a lot of dietary and supplement regimines that can be super helpful in curbing thyroid disease. Take some to educate yourself by doing some online research.

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  • Posted

    Yes Carly, I would say it's normal, as everytime I get my ultrasound of my thyroid, they always check both sides of neck and also have me lift my chin and do under there too.  They are looking at all your lymph nodes to make sure they all look normal, and I would imagine for any masses and such too. 

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