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What you should know about thyroid ablation procedure

When your thyroid isn’t working properly, it might affect the rest of your body. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your body produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism occurs when your body produces insufficient thyroid hormone. These illnesses are dangerous and should be handled by your doctor.

The thyroid gland is a tiny organ at the front of the neck that wraps around the trachea. It has the shape of a butterfly, with two broad wings that wrap the side of your throat. Throughout your body, glands produce and release hormones that assist your body in performing a specific function. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that aid in regulating many critical bodily functions.


What is a thyroid nodule?

Thyroid nodules are excessive overgrowths of cells in the thyroid gland that are usually benign but can be malignant in some cases (in the ratio of one to twenty). Some people have a single nodule, whereas others have several. Thyroid nodules can be solid or full of blood or fluid. Unknown factors frequently cause thyroid nodules. They can run in families, implying that they have a genetic foundation. Iodine shortage can also cause nodules, which is uncommon in the United States.

Cancer is the source of tissue overgrowth in just a small percentage of persons with thyroid nodules, so it is critical to contact a doctor if you suspect you have a nodule.

How many thyroid nodules turned out to be malignant?

Just around 5% of thyroid nodules are malignant. Thyroid nodules that are “purely cystic,” filled with fluid rather than thyroid tissue, are almost usually benign (non-cancerous growths).

What harm can a thyroid disease do to you?

Thyroid nodules, in some situations, produce extra thyroxine, a hormone secreted by your thyroid gland. The excess thyroxine can produce symptoms of thyroid hormone overproduction (hyperthyroidism), such as:

Inexplicable weight loss

excessive sweating



A rapid or uneven heartbeat

Patients with thyroid nodules may occasionally have neck, jaw, or ear pain. Suppose a nodule is big enough to press the windpipe or esophagus. In that case, it may cause trouble breathing or swallowing or cause a “tickle in the throat.” The nodule can also cause hoarseness if it infiltrates the nerve that controls the vocal cords, which is usually associated with thyroid cancer.


Dr. Richard Guttler
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How should it be treated?

A skilled thyroid surgeon should surgically remove any thyroid nodules revealed to have thyroid cancer or are highly suspected of containing a malignancy. The majority of thyroid malignancies are treatable and seldom produce life-threatening complications. Thyroid nodules found benign by FNA or too small to biopsy should be thoroughly monitored with ultrasound every 6 to 12 months and an annual physical examination by your doctor. Even if a nodule is found benign by FNA, the doctor may suggest surgery if it continues to grow or develops concerning signs on ultrasound during follow-up.

Thyroid surgery frequently causes neck pain, sore throat, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, and transient hypoparathyroidism, which normally improves within a few weeks.

Consequences are significantly less common and can include neck bleeding, persistent hypoparathyroidism requiring continuing calcium replacement, and nerve injury resulting in long-term hoarseness and voice abnormalities. The first line treatment procedure for thyroid nodules is radiofrequency ablation of the thyroid.



Thyroid Ablation Procedure: A Non-Surgical Advanced Therapy for Thyroid Nodules

Radiofrequency ablation is a medical technique that uses heat generated by alternating current that is transferred from the generator to the tissue via an electrode to ablate defective tissue. The Thyroid Radiofrequency ablation procedure is painless and does not require general anesthetic when performed under local anesthesia.

Thyroid Ablation procedure

-Pre procedural Steps

Radiofrequency ablation is performed as an outpatient procedure. Although you will not be sedated, you must follow some pre-procedural instructions from Surgical Associates.

Your doctor will review your current drug list with you and provide instructions. Your drugs will not usually interfere with the operation. If you take diabetes or high blood pressure medication, the physician will almost certainly tell you to continue taking it.

If you take blood thinners, you should cease taking them a few days before the treatment.

Inform your doctor if you have a pacemaker, or implants, are pregnant or are on any medications (especially for blood thinning). Avoid wearing makeup, lipstick, or metal jewelry on surgery day.

-Procedural Steps

You will be able to inhale, swallow, and speak properly throughout. The doctor will fit your thighs with two grounding pads.

The doctor will clean your neck before your head is placed on a tiny cushion with your neck stretched. The doctor will use a local anesthetic to numb the region around the thyroid.

The physician will ask you multiple times during the procedure whether you are in pain. If you are uncomfortable at any moment, he or she will easily administer extra local anesthetic.

A generator creates an electric circuit. The electrode is designed to transmit energy to the treated region as efficiently as possible.

The physician will insert the probe tip into the thyroid nodule during the treatment. The generator generates a high-frequency pulse and directs it to the probe’s tip. Your doctor might adjust the region being handled as required to ensure you get the desired outcomes.

You will frequently hear ambient noise and “moderate popping” sounds throughout the operation. These sounds are normal and indicate that an acceptable response is occurring.

Post-procedural steps

Nonetheless, your doctor may impose temporary restrictions. The following are examples:

  • Heavy object lifting (over 10 pounds)
  • Physically demanding activities
  • Any actions that induce neck pain or discomfort (such as massage or acupuncture)

Radiofrequency ablation, in general, does not affect your energy or strength. If you notice any sudden changes after therapy, contact your doctor immediately.

Advantages of the thyroid ablation procedure

The key advantages of radiofrequency ablation over surgery are:

  • Thyroid function is more likely to be preserved.
  • The possibility of fewer complications
  • In general, recovery time is shorter, with a quicker return to routine activities.
  • There is no visible scarring.
  • A shorter procedure: 15 minutes to 1 hour

For benign thyroid nodules, radiofrequency ablation is extremely successful. After one year, nodules often shrink by 60-90%, with an average of 80%.

Another benefit of the thyroid ablation procedure is that it preserves the residual thyroid tissue, which is necessary for normal thyroid function. On the other hand, surgery for benign thyroid nodules frequently includes the extraction of the whole thyroid gland, which can result in lifelong hormone replacement medication.



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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