What makes Thyroid Radio Frequency Ablation the clear choice for treating benign thyroid nodules (TNs)?
Thyroid RFA can be used to treat various thyroid problems — hyperthyroidism, myoma, cold nodules, hot nodules, small TNs, and large TNs.
And a non-invasive, non-surgical therapy like RF ablation is always better for patients and for medical practitioners.
Let’s explore the unrivaled safety and efficacy of radiofrequency thermal ablation. Plus, learn what tools you need to offer this revolutionary therapy.
What has clinical medical research shown with regard to RFA being a good alternative to surgery?
Radiofrequency thyroid ablation offers better cosmetic outcomes compared to other procedures and surgery.
The Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism performed a 2015 study in which they found that every single patient that underwent RFA had a higher cosmetic score than those that did not.
Radiofrequency thermal ablation is proven to reduce thyroid nodule size. In fact, after a 12 month follow up, a study found that it reduced volume by 69%.
In addition, RFA is a safer way to reduce thyroid volume because every patient in the study improved their compressive symptoms. In 88% of the patients, compressive symptoms completely disappeared.
This suggests that long term secondary health benefits are superior with RFA. 100% of patients with pre-toxic thyroid nodules were able to eliminate methimazole therapy and 79% of patients had their hyperthyroidism resolved.
Perhaps most significant in this study is that patients undergoing RFA experienced no major complications and no hospitalizations. When compared with traditional thyroid surgery like thyroidectomies, the increased safety is clear.
As opposed to surgery, radio frequency ablation is an outpatient procedure. The Clinical Journal of the Society for Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society of Australia performed a 2017 study finding the following:
Thermal therapies don’t just produce persistent TN shrinkage, but also improve local symptoms. It also found it has a lower risk of complications than surgery.
A study analyzing 1,543 nodules that underwent RFA found that there were only 1.3% major complications and 3.3% overall complications.
Yet even in the very unlikely scenario that a patient experiences a complication from thermal ablation, the recovery rates speak for themselves. 99.8% of all patients studied recovered spontaneously from complications due to RFA.
Of the only two patients who did not, one had hypothyroidism, and the other underwent surgery.
The European Thyroid Journal reviewed almost 20 years of clinical thermoablation use. Over that time, there is zero evidence of RFA techniques causing thyroid neoplasia.
The journal also confirmed that thyroid RFA has a significantly low rate of both major and minor complications. However, as with anything in medicine, operators should have a dedicated training in image guided thyroid therapy procedures.
That being said, let’s discuss how to safely and effectively perform RFA for hyperthyroidism.
Radio frequency thyroid ablation is incredibly safe. However, as with any medical procedure, using the proper technique is crucial. Let’s discuss how to safely perform thyroid ablation with something called a moving shot technique:
Note: Use slow, steady movements to avoid unwanted penetration or ablation of surrounding tissues or critical structures.
You do not need to provide lifelong hormone supplementation to the patient. Hyperthyroidism is incredibly rare after undergoing RFA.
While performing the procedure, prepare to take longer for larger thyroid nodules. Be aware of critical structures surrounding the thyroid gland.
This includes the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN), trachea, internal jugular veins, and columnar arteries. If the patient’s nodule has extended into the chest, it may not be safe to perform RFA.
You should also avoid RFA if the patient is a pacemaker or is pregnant.
Reduce the risk to the patient. Thyroid ablation should only be performed by qualified physicians, such as interventional radiologists, general surgeons, head surgeons, neck surgeons, and endocrinologists.
Here’s a list of equipment that is recommended to perform the procedure safely:
Want to learn more about thyroid radiofrequency ablation treatment? Contact RGS Healthcare today. Learn how to use the proper tools and techniques for safe patient outcomes.