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You went for a simple annual check-up. And now you’re back home — worrying about a lump they found in your neck.

Lumps and bumps can be scary. But when you have one on your thyroid gland, you can usually relax. These lumps, or thyroid nodules, are pretty common. And the good news? More than 90% of them are benign (noncancerous).

At Cleveland Clinic, our healthcare providers will work closely with you to get a quick, accurate diagnosis so you can start the most personalized treatment for your thyroid nodules. We’re here to support you so you can have peace of mind.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Thyroid Nodules Care?

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Minimally invasive options:

If you need to have your thyroid nodules removed, we offer a minimally invasive procedure called radiofrequency ablation that’s done in your provider’s office. It’s quick and requires less recovery time, so you can get back to your activities faster.

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Patient-centered care:

Our compassionate healthcare providers will listen to your concerns and discuss treatment options that may be right for you. Then we tailor your care plan to your needs and the type of nodules on your thyroid. Meet our team.

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Specialized knowledge:

Determining whether a thyroid nodule is benign or cancerous is important for building the right treatment plan. Our experienced cytopathologists (specialists who study cells to diagnose diseases) use in-depth techniques to accurately identify your thyroid nodules.

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Virtual visits:

Sometimes you might not feel up to coming to an appointment in person. That’s OK. We offer virtual visits. You can meet one-on-one with your providers from home using an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet or computer.

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National recognition:

Cleveland Clinic is a trusted healthcare leader. We're recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for our expertise and care.

Thyroid Nodules Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic

These nodules can be hard to detect because they’re often too small to notice — and might not even cause symptoms. Sometimes, if the nodule is large enough, you might be able to feel it or see it in the mirror or a photo of yourself.

But, in most cases, your primary care provider will often discover you have thyroid nodules during a routine physical exam or an imaging scan like an X-ray, CT scan or MRI. If they do, they’ll ask you to get more testing. That’s where we come in.

At your first appointment, we’ll take a look at your thyroid and its nodules. We’ll also talk with you about your medical history and symptoms. We may have you do some bloodwork and other testing, too.

An ultrasound will help us figure out how many nodules you have and how big they are. We might also do a thyroid biopsy, where we’ll remove a small sample of the nodule. This lets us take a closer look at the cells to confirm or rule out cancer. You might also have an imaging test called a thyroid uptake and scan that checks how well your thyroid works to help us confirm or rule out cancer.

Meet Our Team

When you come to Cleveland Clinic for thyroid nodule diagnosis and treatment, you’ll get expert compassionate care from a team of skilled providers. This team could include:


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations in Ohio, Florida and London.

Thyroid Nodules Treatment at Cleveland Clinic

Once we get a better idea of how many nodules you have, how big they are and what’s causing them, we’ll talk with you about treatment. We craft a personalized treatment plan for you. There are several treatment options we might use. We’ll explain these options and talk about what’s the best fit for you. Treatment options can include:


It might seem odd to do nothing. But if you have no symptoms and benign thyroid nodules, your provider may suggest keeping an eye on them — or “watchful waiting.” You’ll have regular follow-up visits where your provider will look for any changes in the nodules. If your thyroid nodules stop growing or go away on their own, you won’t need further treatment.

Hormone treatment

During testing, your provider might discover your thyroid doesn’t work the way it should. They might prescribe thyroid hormone therapy pills to raise or lower your body’s thyroid hormone levels to proper levels. If you take this medication, your endocrinologist will check in with you regularly to make sure you’re managing your symptoms and your thyroid hormone levels stay within an ideal range.

Radioactive iodine

If your thyroid nodule is cancerous or causing problems like hyperthyroidism, your provider may recommend radioactive iodine treatment. Typically, this single treatment shrinks the nodules and relieves hyperthyroidism within a few months. To do the treatment, you’ll swallow a radioactive iodine capsule and drink lots of water to flush any extra radioactive iodine from your system.

Radiofrequency ablation

Benign nodules larger than 2 centimeters (a little bigger than a penny) may respond to radiofrequency ablation (RFA). Your provider does this minimally invasive surgery in the office, using a local anesthetic to numb the area around your thyroid. You’ll be awake but won’t feel any pain. They’ll place a needle in the thyroid nodule, destroying the cells with heat. After the procedure, your provider will check your nodules every three to six months with ultrasound to see if they have stopped growing.


If you have cancerous thyroid nodules, you’ll most likely need surgery. Sometimes even noncancerous thyroid nodules may need to be surgically removed if they’re too large, cause issues with how you breathe or swallow or don’t respond to other treatments. Your surgeon may remove part or all of your thyroid gland — depending on where and how big the nodules are — using innovative techniques like robotic thyroidectomy.

Taking the Next Step

Learning you have thyroid nodules — and getting treatment for them — can be stressful. But you don’t have to feel like you’re facing the unknown. The experts at Cleveland Clinic are here to answer your questions and help you feel like yourself again. From innovative diagnostics to skilled, caring providers, we’ll work with you to create a treatment plan that works for you.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s thyroid nodules experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s thyroid nodules experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

Manage your Cleveland Clinic account. Find billing information and financial assistance, plus FAQs.

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