Physical examination of the thyroid gland entails at least inspection and palpation of the thyroid gland. At times, auscultation of the thyroid gland may be done particularly in patients with huge diffuse enlargement of the gland wherein hyperthyroidism is suspected. A bruit may be heard on auscultation of the thyroid gland in such patients. The minimum must do, however, in the physical examination of the thyroid gland are inspection and palpation.
To arrive to a physical diagnosis of the thyroid gland (whether there is a thyroid disorder or not and if there is, what kind), aside from inspection and palpation of the thyroid gland, one must at least palpate the rest of the neck particularly to check whether there are associated abnormal lymph nodes or not and count the pulse or heart rate to check whether hyperthyroidism is present or not.
Focused Physical Examination of the Thyroid Gland for a Physical Diagnosis
The minimum tools and parts of the body to be physically examined in patients with potential thyroid disorder or goiter consist of inspection and palpation of the thyroid and the neck and counting the pulse or heart rate.