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The Role of Radiofrequency Ablation in Managing Thyroid Nodules

Doctors who treat hyperthyroidism are increasingly electing thyroid radiofrequency ablation as their therapy of choice. There are a variety of techniques to treat enlarged thyroid nodules today. 

However, many of these procedures like laser therapy, microwave ablation, or thyroidectomies carry consequences. Not only are traditional methods more risky, they even carry additional costs compared to RFA. 

Therefore, using RF ablation is usually a more preferable treatment option. Read on to discover the role of radiofrequency ablation for managing abnormal thyroid nodules. You’ll also discover the benefits of RF ablation and the best tools to perform it effectively.

How Thyroid Radio Frequency Ablation Works

RFA thyroid therapy is an innovative solution for shrinking the size of a patient’s thyroid nodules. It does not require surgery, it is non-invasive, and it can speed up recovery times while providing lasting thyroid shrinkage. 

Thyroid ablation involves the use of an electrode needle to ablate or cauterize unwanted thyroid tissue. This electrode is connected to a radiofrequency generator and monitored in real time using a high quality ultrasound imaging system.

The Moving Shot Technique For RF Thyroid Ablation

The best practice for performing RFA on a patient’s thyroid is with something called the moving shot technique. 

This involves inserting the electrode needle into the patient’s thyroid. Then using the tip of the electrode, begin ablating the peripheral part of the thyroid. 

When air bubbles occur, the tissue has been ablated and you can move the needle back in a slow continuous motion. Repeat this process layer by layer in the thyroid, moving from the posterior to anterior. 

The doctor should be repositioning the electrode on a new plane to repeat the ablation from the lower part to the upper part of the thyroid. With a slow moving shot technique, you can achieve consistent ablation without missing thyroid tissue that needs to be treated. 

In addition, you reduce the risk of overablation. This is why it’s important to monitor the ultrasound screen while performing the therapy.

The Effectiveness Of RFA For Treating Thyroids

Numerous clinical trials have evaluated RFA’s efficacy for thyroid treatment. Across a number of trials, RF ablation has been demonstrated to play a beneficial role in the reduction of abnormal thyroids, such as:

  • Rate of reduction
  • Probability of success
  • Reduction of symptoms
  • Lack of hyperthyroidism recurrence
  • Sustained results
  • Minimal follow-up requirements
  • Improved cosmetic outcomes
  • Low risk of complications. 

RFA can be an effective therapy for both cold and hot nodules. Cold nodules do not produce additional thyroid hormones. For these nodules, patients can expect up to 58% reduction in the first month and up to 84% reduction in six months. 

Additionally, cosmetic problems due to an enlarged thyroid often disappear. A followup study evaluated the long-term efficacy of radiofrequency ablation and found that thyroid nodules decreased by 93.5% over four years. 

Hot benign nodules produce thyroid hormone. Studies found that reduction rates were as high as 70% after six months. Additionally, patients’ thyroid function improved in most cases. 

Over 80% of patients with hot nodules that underwent RFA had their hyperthyroidism normalized. The results of these and other clinical studies suggest that RFA ablation is preferable to other treatment methods such as invasive surgery or radioactive iodine therapy.

Dr. Richard Guttler
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Thyroid RFA Advantages

Thermal ablation therapy using radiofrequency offers several advantages when treating patients with thyroid conditions. 

RF Therapy for Thyroids Improves Cosmetic Outcomes

Traditional surgeries can leave large unsightly scars. There is no scarring after RFA. A tiny puncture wound quickly heals. 

Less Risk

There is a very tiny probability of complications occurring from RFA. In most cases, when complications do occur, they are resolved naturally. 

No Hospitalizations

RFA is an outpatient procedure. The patient is not required to stay overnight. Additionally, studies have shown that no hospitalizations were needed after undergoing RFA for thyroid reduction. 


For a medical practitioner, the safety and effectiveness of a treatment is always the top priority. But it’s important to understand that using radiofrequency thyroid ablation also requires less costly equipment than several other alternatives.

What Equipment Do You Need For Thyroid Ablation? 

As with any medical procedure, it’s important to have state-of-the-art equipment. When talking about thyroid ablation in particular, you should select equipment from reputable brands and distributors. 

The two most important tools you’ll need to properly perform RFA ablation are a fluoroscopic tool and a radiofrequency generator.

For the x-ray equipment, we suggest an E-Cube i7 or an E-Cube X70. This provides you with excellent vision of the thyroid nodule and electrode while you’re performing ablation therapy. 

As far as the radio frequency machine, the Mygen V1000 distributed by RGS is considered the best in its field.

Information about the V1000

The V1000 is a radio frequency ablation system manufactured by RF Medical. It provides a number of features for doctors, including a distinct algorithm for each type of soft tissue ablation such as: liver, lung, thyroid, bone, myoma, and kidney. 

Features include:

  • User-friendly – You can easily customize the interface to your needs. The touchscreen feature allows you to operate the equipment without advanced technical knowledge. 
  • Compatibility – The V1000 works with several types of electrodes, giving you more choices. 
  • Self-testing – The machine can run analysis on itself to ensure it’s working properly. 
  • USB plug-in – Easily connect the machine to a PC or other monitor via USB cord. 
  • Easy upgrading – You can download updates to the machine quickly via USB.
  • Monitor patient pads – Keep an eye on your patient’s status without complex hookups.

Industry Leading Equipment For Thyroid Treatments

RGS Healthcare specializes in equipping medical practitioners with the best radiofrequency imaging and ablation technology on the market. 

Our team of experts can easily answer all your questions surrounding tools, techniques, and best practices. Call RGS Healthcare or schedule a product demo today. Learn how our doctor partners are achieving better health outcomes every day, and how you can too.