Modern medicine embraces a therapy like thyroid radiofrequency ablation (RFA) because it empowers doctors to provide more personalized care to their patients.
Using RFA to treat benign enlarged thyroid nodules (TNs) is a non-invasive procedure. It can reduce the volume reduction ratio (VRR) of abnormal thyroid nodules while removing only the amount of tissue necessary for the patient’s safety and comfort.
Therefore, let’s explore the benefits of thyroid ablation in this article. We’ll also explain how surgeons and doctors can utilize RFA in their practice to provide custom, safe, effective treatment for a variety of thyroid conditions.
In several countries around the world, RFA has been utilized by doctors, endocrinologists, and surgeons already. Over 20 years of research has gone into this low-risk, non-surgical thyroid treatment. RFA for the thyroid nodules boasts short procedure times, fast recovery times, minimal complications, and reduced scarring.
This puts it in an advantageous position compared to thyroidectomies, laser ablation, and more costly procedures like high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation.
Perhaps most importantly, with thyroid ablation, you can precisely ablate a patient’s thyroid nodule. This level of accuracy cauterizes tissue that is unwanted and, at the same time, avoids harming or removing healthy tissue or surrounding critical structures.
Therefore, you can personalize your approach depending on the size and condition of the patient’s thyroid nodule, and other health conditions they may be facing.
A large body of knowledge exists demonstrating the efficacy and safety of thermal ablation of benign thyroid nodules — especially when compared to riskier or costlier procedures.
Let’s explore some of the research that’s been performed below. Then we’ll talk about proper methods and equipment for safely conducting the therapy in your medical facility.
The Division of Endocrine and Oncologic Surgery, in a joint effort with the Department of Surgery at Tulane University School of Medicine, analyzed the technique and procedural aspects of radiofrequency ablation for thyroid nodules.
The study found that TNs reduced in size as well as the therapy reducing and curing hyperthyroidism due to toxic nodules. Thyroid symptoms were also reduced post procedure.
The European Thyroid Journal found that RFA effectively reduced thyroid nodule volume by 93% after six-month follow-ups. This is better than ethanol ablation as a reference point.
RFA ablation had lower rates of major and minor complications compared to other options.
While the authors do suggest dedicated training in image-guided thyroid therapeutic procedures (which should always be utilized) 20 years of clinical usage review brought forward no evidence that RFA techniques caused any regrowth (neoplasia) of the thyroid nodules.
The Korean Society of Thyroid Radiology reviewed complications arising from thyroid ablation treatment. The authors discovered that there was only a 1.3% rate of major complications. Furthermore, 99.8% of patients recovered spontaneously from their complications. Over 1,543 nodules were observed.
The Clinical Journal of the Society for Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society of Australia found that thermal therapies can persistently shrink thyroid nodules. They also found that it improves local symptoms and that the volume reduction is stable over a course of several years.
They found that it has a lower risk compared to other surgeries when it comes to complications.
Due to the personalization of thyroid nodule treatment with RFA, it offers minimal complications. Doctors are able to treat a very small specific area of the nodule to ablate the tissue.
Perhaps this explains why a study found that the average reduction of thyroid nodule volume was 79.4% after 24 months. They also found that compressive symptoms were improved in every single patient in the study — whereas 88% of patients completely had their compressive symptoms disappear.
Every single patient that had pre-toxic thyroid nodules were able to resolve their hyperthyroidism and 79% of all patients were able to quit methimazole therapy and resolve their hyperthyroidism.
In addition to being more effective than ethanol ablation, the volume reduction ratio of radiofrequency ablation is also preferable to laser ablation. A 24-month follow-up of RFA VRR was 87%. The laser VRR was almost half at 45%.
In line with the other studies, this one found that compressive symptoms were reduced. It also found significant cosmetic concern reductions.
After a review of the clinical evidence, the main points are clear. Radio frequency ablation of the thyroid nodule offers a therapy with minimal complications, sustainable reduction of the thyroid nodule volume, and enhanced cosmetic outcomes.
This indicates that patients undergoing this therapy can enjoy a higher quality of life, greater comfort, and less stress during the procedure itself.
It also bodes well for medical practices who adopt this procedure. They can spend less money on the equipment, the time involved, and the stress of worrying about negative patient outcomes or complications.
There are two main factors in the safe and effective conduction of thyroid radiofrequency ablation.
Medical practitioners should use high quality, well-researched equipment for both imaging and the radiofrequency ablation portion of the operation.
For instance, an E-Cube i7 offers excellent imaging capabilities for full visibility during the therapy. Furthermore, RF Medical provides the Mygen V-1000 generator that provides precise ablation levels to avoid over-treating or under-treating a patient’s thyroid condition.
Research shows that the moving shot technique is preferable to others. This involves slow, methodical movement of the electrode needle when ablating the tissue.
Moving layer by layer and plane by plane, the doctor can consistently ablate small areas of excess thyroid nodule tissue.
Using thyroid ablation for benign thyroid nodules and even certain varieties of myoma, you can achieve a safer, more effective form of thyroid care.
By utilizing the proper technique and equipment mentioned above, you can set your practice up to deliver better patient outcomes now and going forward. If you have any further questions surrounding this groundbreaking therapy or the steps involved, don’t hesitate.
Reach out to the experts at RGS Healthcare today. We are here to help you transform your medical services — seeking to provide the most modern and minimally invasive treatments possible. Let’s build a better world starting today.