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Patient Resources


Below you will find answers to questions we frequently receive. Endocrinology patients at Patuxent Endocrinology Associates in Prince Frederick, Maryland find this information helpful. Should you need further assistance, please contact us, we will happily answer your questions.

Please bring your new patient paperwork, health history, diagnostic testing results, and any important information related to your condition that you would like to discuss with Dr. Thomas.

Your first office consultation will last 45 to 60 minutes, depending on your health condition(s) and health history.

No. Follow-up visits generally take 15-30 minutes.

This depends on the endocrine disorder for which you are seen and will be discussed with you at your initial visit.

A biopsy is a procedure in which cells or tissues are collected from the body for further analysis. The sample will be examined by a pathologist to determine whether it contains cancerous cells.

Ultrasound of the neck is a safe, painless procedure that produces pictures of the neck using sound waves. This procedure involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin of the neck. Pictures of the structures on the neck are displayed on the monitor and recorded. Indications for this procedure are:

  1. To determine if a lump in the neck is arising from the thyroid or the adjacent structures
  2. Evaluation of the thyroid nodule, which helps determine whether a fine needle aspiration biopsy is needed to rule out cancer in the thyroid nodule. Benign (non-cancerous) thyroid nodules can be monitored using regular intervals (6-12 months) for growth or change in appearance that will determine if a thyroid nodule needs to be biopsied.
  3. Evaluation of the lymph nodes in the neck, especially before thyroid surgery, is critical to determine if there are any abnormal lymph nodes that are suspicious for cancer and require biopsy.
  4. Evaluation of enlargements in the parathyroid gland/glands, seen in conditions of increased calcium in the blood called hyperparathyroidism and in parathyroid cancer

Dr. Thomas will discuss the findings of the ultrasound of the neck with you and recommend appropriate management. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor to feel your neck for thyroid nodules (this is part of your general examination at your doctor’s office.) If you or your family members have an enlarged thyroid gland, contact Dr. Thomas to schedule an appointment to evaluate the nodules.

Benign (non-cancerous) thyroid nodules can be monitored using a fine needle aspiration (FNA) of the thyroid nodule. This procedure is done only if your endocrinologist, Dr. Thomas, evaluates your thyroid gland by an ultrasound of the soft tissues of your neck and decides that it is important to get a small sample of the thyroid nodule tissue to send it to pathology to find out if there are any cancer cells in it. FNA of the thyroid nodule is done using ultrasound guidance in the office by Dr. Thomas. A small sample of tissue is removed from the thyroid nodule using a small, thin, fine-gauge needle that is smaller in diameter than the needle used in most blood draws. Medications (1% lidocaine and ethyl chloride spray) are used to numb the area prior to the biopsy. Following the FNA, the sample is sent to the pathology lab for analysis. Once the results are available, Dr. Thomas will communicate the results to you personally and discuss further management. Depending on the results, she will coordinate further management with the endocrine surgeon (if you need surgery) or nuclear medicine specialist (if you need radioiodine therapy following the surgery).

At a Glance

Dr. Reena Thomas, MD

  • Dual American board-certified endocrinologist
  • Author of numerous academic and clinic research
  • Learn more