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What is the radiofrequency Ablation thyroid nodule?

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) thyroid nodule is a non-surgical procedure that can shrink thyroid nodules and restore thyroid function. RFA is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an endocrine surgeon using ultrasound imaging as guidance. The doctor uses radio waves to destroy the cells of the nodule, causing it to shrink as the body absorbs the ablated tissue.

A radio frequency (RF) is an alternating electric current that oscillates between 200 and 1200 kHz. The use of radiofrequency in a medical environment causes tissue ions to agitate as they try to follow the changes in the direction of the alternating current, resulting in frictional heat around the electrode. The heat produced by the emitter affects the local tissue, which is only a few millimeters away from the electrode tip. RF has been utilized successfully as a medical treatment for various body regions, including the spine, liver, colon, and prostate.

What is meant by thyroid nodule in the thyroid gland?

It is a fluid-filled lump in the thyroid gland just above the sternum. The patient may only be aware of a thyroid nodule once the doctor notices it during a routine medical exam. Alternatively, your doctor may discover it during a scan for another reason. On the other hand, specific thyroid nodules can grow large enough to be visible or make swallowing or breathing difficulties.

Individuals more prone to having a thyroid nodule

Thyroid disease can affect anyone, including men, women, newborns, adolescents, and the elderly. It might present at birth (usually hypothyroidism) or develop as you age (usually after menopause in women).

Thyroid disease is quite common, with approximately 20 million Americans suffering from thyroid dysfunction. A woman is four to eight times more likely than a man to be detected with a thyroid problem.

A patient may be at a higher risk of developing a thyroid nodule if they

  • Have a positive family history of thyroid disease.
  • Have an autoimmune medical condition (e.g., pernicious anemia, Type 1 diabetes, primary adrenal insufficiency, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s disease, or Turner syndrome).
  • Take an iodine-containing medicine (amiodarone)
  • Are over 60, particularly women.
  • Have been treated for a thyroid problem or cancer (thyroidectomy or radiation).


Thyroid disease

Signs and symptoms which are shown by a thyroid nodule

If you have thyroid illness, you may suffer several symptoms. Regrettably, the symptoms of a thyroid issue are frequently confused with those of other medical disorders and stages of life. This can make it hard to determine if your symptoms are due to a thyroid problem or something else entirely.

Thyroid disease symptoms can be classified into two categories: those caused by excessive thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) and those caused by not having enough thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism).

Symptoms of excessive secreting thyroid nodule

  • Anxiety, impatience, and nervousness
  • Having difficulty sleeping.
  • Weight loss.
  • Possessing an enlarged thyroid gland, often known as a goiter.
  • Experiencing tremors and physical weakness.
  • Having irregular menstrual periods or your menstrual cycle stopping.
  • heat intolerance
  • Experiencing visual issues or eye irritation.

Symptoms of decreased thyroid hormone secreting nodule

  • exhaustion (fatigue).
  • Putting on weight.
  • Memory loss
  • Heavy and frequent menstrual cycles.
  • Possessing coarse, dry hair.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Intolerance to cold temperatures.

Treatment of Cancerous thyroid nodule

Your physician can detect a thyroid nodule by feeling the thyroid gland in your neck. Suppose a nodule is identified during a physical exam. In that case, your doctor must answer the following four questions to identify what (if anything) to do about it.

  • Is the nodule malignant?
  • Is the nodule interfering with other structures in the neck?
  • Is the nodule producing an excessive amount of thyroid hormone?
  • Is there anything that the doctor can do about the nodule?

A thyroid ultrasound can inform your physician of the thyroid nodule’s size, location, and characteristics. You may also get an ultrasound of the lymph nodes in your neck to see if cancer is present.


Surgical resection of thyroid nodule

Thyroid surgery, while highly safe, is still surgery. It necessitates a hospital visit, general anesthesia, and the associated dangers. Cosmetically, it is common to exchange a lump for a scar.

Following surgery, typical side effects include neck pain, stiffness, and sore throat. Problems are uncommon, but when they do occur, they can be severe, even fatal.

Radioactive Iodine

Likewise, radioactive iodine therapy has drawbacks. The doctor must take particular care to safeguard people from radiation exposure. There are also short-term adverse effects like nausea, swelling, neck discomfort, dry mouth or xerostomia, a metallic taste, and an increased risk of other malignancies.

Radiofrequency ablation thyroid nodule

Radiofrequency ablation thyroid nodule, a standard technique in other nations, has become available in the United States. This non-surgical approach, developed over a decade ago, decreases nodules without impairing thyroid function and helps stop the lengthy recovery durations associated with thyroid surgery.

Radiofrequency ablation cauterizes thyroid nodules and cysts by using radiofrequency radiation. Radiofrequency ablation is a painless procedure that does not require general anesthetic when performed under local anesthesia. A thermal probe is inserted into the thyroid nodule using guided ultrasonography. The nodule is eliminated by selective heating of the probe tip. The body then breaks down the cauterized tissue.

Why choose radiofrequency ablation thyroid nodule over other treatment procedures

Clinical trials assessed the decrease in the rate, therapeutic success, improvements in symptoms, and visual improvement in nodules.

Clinical investigations have shown a mean degradation efficiency of 30.7 to 59% within one month and 50 to 85% after six months for “cool” benign nodules (those which do not release excess thyroid hormone). Most patients’ nodule-related symptoms and aesthetic issues improved or were eliminated. Radiofrequency ablation of thyroid nodules was successful over four years in a long-term follow-up trial, with nodules continually reducing to 94%.

Clinical trials for “hot” benign thyroid nodules (which produce excessive thyroid hormone) have shown volume reduction rates of 50% to 71% after six months, with most patients having improved or balanced thyroid function. Hyperthyroidism induced by “hot” nodules resolved in all patients and was entirely normalized in 82% of patients in a multicenter trial. As a result, radiofrequency ablation thyroid nodule can be considered an alternative to radioactive iodine therapy or thyroid surgery.



Check out our patient animation video that takes you through every step of the thyroid rfa journey.  Topics covered include:

• What is Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation

• Moving shot technique explained

• Tips for Thyroid RFA Treatment

• Advantages of Thyroid Radio Frequency Ablation


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