What is a thyroidectomy?
Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck that produces hormones that control every aspect of your metabolism. Thyroidectomy is used to treat thyroid disorders, such as cancer, a noncancerous enlargement of the thyroid (goiter), and overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
How much of your thyroid gland is removed during thyroidectomy depends on the reason for surgery. If you need only part of your thyroid removed (partial thyroidectomy), your thyroid may work normally after surgery. If your entire thyroid is removed, a total thyroidectomy, you need daily treatment with thyroid hormone to replace your thyroid’s natural function.
Standardly conducted thyroidectomy costs and dangers, particularly for patients with benign thyroid nodules or cystic lesions, are incompatible with the disease’s clinical harmlessness. As a result, we’d like to provide an overview of non-surgical options for treating benign thyroid nodules and cysts that cause unpleasant symptoms.
Here are 3 Alternatives to a Thyroidectomy:
1. Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
Many nodules can be “shrunk”/ablated without surgery utilizing a specific needle and a successful and minimally invasive treatment. The dissipation of heat (generated by high-frequency radio waves) from the tip of a particular water-cooled needle is used to ablate. In the weeks and months following RFA, specialized white blood cells remove the dead nodule tissue, causing the nodule to shrink significantly. As the nodule volume reduces, complaints such as swallowing difficulties, pressure sensations, and feelings of constriction in the throat diminish, as does the obvious bulge in the neck.
Thyroid RFA has the following advantages:
- Minimally invasive outpatient procedure.
- There is no need to take lifelong thyroid hormone supplements because the thyroid — a small gland located in the neck that generates hormones that regulate your metabolic rate– remains intact.
- Absolutely no scarring.
2. Ethanol Ablation
This is appropriate for simple liquid-filled nodules. After locating the nodule using ultrasound, your doctor inserts a needle to drain fluid from the nodule before replacing it with sterile ethanol (alcohol) solution. This eventually results in scar tissue, which helps to limit the likelihood of the nodule recurring.
3. Radioactive Iodine
Thyroid cancer can be treated with radioactive iodine (RAI) when the thyroid gland absorbs nearly all of the iodine in your body. The RAI primarily accumulates in thyroid cells, where the radiation can damage the thyroid gland and any other thyroid cells (including cancer cells) that take up iodine, with little effect on the rest of the body.
Suppose a person has papillary or follicular thyroid cancer (differentiated thyroid cancer) that has migrated to the neck or other body areas. In that case, radioactive iodine therapy can help them live longer, and it is now normal practice in such circumstances. However, the benefits of RAI therapy are less evident for persons with tiny thyroid tumors that do not appear to have spread and can typically be eliminated with RFA.
After analyzing many options for thyroidectomy to treat thyroid nodules, we have concluded that Thyroid RFA for thyroid nodules is the most effective alternative since it dramatically eliminates the need for nodule surgery and the usage of Radioactive Iodine (RAI). While surgery leaves a noticeable scar, the Thyroid RFA process is minimally invasive, safe, and conducted as an outpatient procedure that may only take a couple of hours. Thyroid RFA also allows patients to resume normal daily activities after a short recovery period. In addition, while surgery may involve the removal of a portion of the thyroid, Thyroid RFA preserves thyroid integrity, which promotes enhanced thyroid function. Thyroid RFA effectively protects healthy thyroid tissue and enables it to function normally without the need for lifelong medication.
As the top supplier of medical imaging equipment for thyroid radiofrequency ablation and other diagnostic media imaging equipment worldwide, RGS Healthcare understands that every clinic has unique requirements when it comes to purchasing medical imaging equipment. Our highest priority is supplying the right piece of equipment that will ultimately satisfy your clinical needs and patient care. Feel free to browse our selection and contact us if you have any questions.
Disclaimer: None of the information posted is intended as medical, legal, or business advice, or advice about reimbursement for health care services.