Thyroid Ultrasound Cost


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

A thyroid ultrasound, like all other ultrasound procedures, are relatively painless as it generates sound waves to create high-resolution images from inside of your body to help better understand the situation.  It is designed to help measure, size and determine the shape of your thyroid gland, but it will not be able to determine how well it is working.

In most cases, a doctor will consider a thyroid ultrasound if any abnormalities are suspected, such as a cyst, nodule or tumor, especially if a biopsy is considered.  It can also check to see if your thyroid gland is either underactive or overactive.

Thyroid Ultrasound Cost
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How much does a thyroid ultrasound cost?

The cost of a thyroid ultrasound will greatly depend on where your ultrasound is performed, the geographical location, the type of ultrasound and your health insurance.  Without health insurance, the costs can be as much as $300 to $1,000 or more, especially if performed at a hospital.  However, from what we researched, the average costs, aside from the doctor’s office examination fee, is about $300 to $600.  These are the costs for the ultrasound only and will not include any future treatment options or the doctor’s office fee in most cases.

For instance, a 3D or a Doppler ultrasound, which uses advanced technology, can cost more than a basic ultrasound due to the higher level of detail.

The Healthcare Bluebook, with its facility cost ranking analysis, noted the average cost can range from $212 to $665.

Preparation

As with any ultrasound, it will either be done inside of your doctor’s office if they have the equipment, at an outpatient ultrasound center or at a hospital.

Before the test starts, you will be asked to remove any objects which block access to your throat such as a necklace other accessories, to name a few.

When you arrive in the room, you will be asked to remove your shirt, put on a hospital-like gown and lay on your back, with a pillow placed behind your neck in order to slightly tilt your head to help expose your throat.

How a thyroid ultrasound works

Laying on your back, depending on your circumstances, your doctor may first inject a contrast agent into your bloodstream in order to enhance the image quality.  If done, this process is relatively fast and only requires a quick inject using a needle often filled with either an agent called Lumason or Levovist, a gas that is filled with tiny bubbles.

Next, a gel will be rubbed on your throat, which is designed to help the transducer glide over your throat without irritating your skin.

Rubbing the transducer back and forth on your skin where the thyroid is located, images will appear on the screen, and the technician will grab any necessary screen grabs.

Once the procedure is done, your doctor will look at the images and will call about two to three days later with your results.

The entire procedure is relatively painless, easily tolerated and takes about 30 minutes, according to RadiologyInfo.org.

Understanding the results

An ultrasound, once the results come in, can offer your doctor some valuable information, including what type of growth you have, the number of growths if any, where they are located, the blood flow to that growth and/or whether it has distinct boundaries, according to HealthLine.com.  The ultrasound is also able to detect a goiter and swelling as well.

With these results, your doctor will often discuss any future treatment options, if necessary, and will discuss any conditions which he or she suspects.

If your doctor recommends additional care, it can range anywhere from a fine needle aspiration to test the fluid to blood work or another ultrasound.  In extreme cases, surgery may be recommended, especially if cancer is present.

Here’s what a  normal vs. abnormal thyroid ultrasound would look like.

How to save money

Even though your doctor may order one, it doesn’t mean you have to use the facility he or she recommends.  To save money, call a few freestanding facilities in your area which specialize with ultrasounds and ask them over the phone for their rates.  As long as you know you need this specific ultrasound, they should be able to provide you with a quote over the phone or even email.

If you do not have insurance or even have limited coverage, many facilities do offer its patients a cash discount, so be sure to inquire about this.


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