RFA / Radio Frequency Ablation for Thyroid
I have been diagnosed with thyroid nodule. Should I be worried?
Thyroid nodules are extremely common, and the majority of adults after the age of 50 may have one or more small thyroid nodules. Most of the nodules (over 90%) are benign. Testing is done to detect those nodules which are not benign.
If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid nodule your doctor may refer you for further testing. A simple blood test can determine the function of the thyroid gland, and the nature of the nodule can be tested by a biopsy using a very fine needle to extract cells from the nodule under ultrasound guidance.
We, at ENT Specialists, have a vast experience of performing these ultrasound guided procedures in the office, with more than 4000 nodules tested in the last 10 years. Biopsy may be able to be done on the day you come for your initial consultation. Biopsy is done under local anesthesia and no special preparation is required and there is no recovery period.
Results from the biopsy take 1 to 3 weeks depending on the extent of testing required, as about 25% of the nodules require special molecular testing to get a more definitive answer.
Small nodules that turn out to be benign are simply followed by an annual follow-up ultrasound.
However, benign nodules may require intervention in following scenarios:
Nodules over 4 cm in size
Large nodules causing pressure symptoms
Visible large nodules that are cosmetically unacceptable
Hyperfunctioning nodules causing increased thyroid hormone production
Nodules showing definite trend for growth
Nodules showing growth behind the collar bone towards the chest
Meet a Patient
RFA Patient Story
RFA preserves your healthy thyroid tissue,
helping the thyroid to function normally without
the need for lifetime medication.
What is RFA for Thyroid?
Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) is a newer non-surgical procedure that offers a safer and minimally invasive alternative to surgery. Although relatively new to USA, this technology was approved by FDA 5 years ago, it has been widely practiced in Europe, UK, South Korea and Brazil. In this technique thermal energy is delivered through electrodes directly into the thyroid nodule. This results in tissue destruction and eventually scarring resulting in shrinkage of the nodule.
RFA offers an alternative non-surgical treatment for benign nodules that are causing pressure symptoms or cosmetic compromise. This procedure may also be used to treat autonomously functioning thyroid nodules as an alternative to surgery or radioactive iodine, and small primary thyroid or recurrent thyroid cancers that are not located near critical structures.
RFA is a safe and relatively quick treatment option with few side effects, and typically does not require the patient to take thyroid replacement medication as a result of the procedure.
RFA preserves your healthy thyroid tissue, helping the thyroid to function normally without the need for lifetime medication.
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