Ultrasound is a highly operator-dependent investigation. Surgeon-performed ultrasound involves the specialist surgeon performing a dedicated ultrasound on the patient in the office or consultation room. This allows the treating specialist to perform a surgical-oriented scan, looking for features that are important from the surgical point of view (and sometimes not addressed on conventional scans). It also allows surgeons to perform ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (US-FNA) on the same day as the consultation, saving multiple appointments, costs, travel and stress for patients.
Surgeon-performed ultrasound permits the surgeon to clearly display scan findings to the patient in real-time, providing a description within the clinical context, so that the patient is better informed. It avoids radiation and is safe and accurate.
Conditions best suited for surgeon-performed ultrasound
Surgeon-performed ultrasound is extremely useful for the work up of patients with benign neck lumps, parotid and submandibular gland masses, head and neck cancer, thyroid nodules and parathyroid adenomas. When combined with US-FNA, it is the most accurate imaging tool in the detection of pathological lymph node metastases in the head and neck. It is performed by otolaryngology head and neck surgeons throughout North America, Asia and Europe and has been shown to change the surgical management in a large percentage of patients.