Thyroid nodules are one of the common problems caused by the overgrowth of cells in the thyroid gland. In most cases, the thyroid nodules are non-cancerous. But, in rare cases, they can be cancerous. If the thyroid nodules are small, they do not show any signs. But if they grow larger in size, they may show signs and causes problems. However, thyroid nodules can be treated using surgical and non-surgical methods.
Radiofrequency Thyroid Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive and safe procedure to treat thyroid nodules. RFA makes use of thermal energy to heat and shrink the thyroid nodules, instead of performing surgery and incisions.
How is Radiofrequency Thyroid Ablation (RFA) Performed?
Radiofrequency Thyroid Ablation (RFA) can be performed on an outpatient basis and you can get back home on the same day of the procedure. You will be given anesthesia at the treatment area around the thyroid gland to reduce your pain and discomfort during the procedure. Once you feel comfortable and relaxed, the doctor will insert a thin needle into the thyroid nodule using ultrasound guidance.
Now, radiofrequency energy is released from the tip of the needle to shrink and destroy the thyroid nodule. The doctor guides the needle throughout the thyroid nodule and removes as much of the nodule as it is safe to remove. The entire procedure can take from 30 minutes to one hour based on the size of the thyroid nodule.
After the procedure, you may have slight discomfort and bruising at the treated site. However, it can be treated using over-the-counter medications.
Can Everyone Undergo Radio Frequency Ablation?
Though the RFA procedure is suitable for everyone, the following cannot undergo an RFA procedure:
- Pregnant women
- Patients who have cardiac pacemakers
- If your thyroid nodules have turned in thyroid cancer
- If thyroid nodules are closer to vocal cord nerves, major blood vessels, and esophagus as they are critical structures
What Benefits Does Radio Frequency Ablation Offer?
The following are the benefits of the RFA procedure for thyroid nodules:
- A minimally invasive procedure
- Preserves the thyroid tissue and it can function well without the need for using medications throughout the life
- It is performed on an outpatient basis and you do not need a hospital stay
- No downtime and you can get back to regular activities within a few days
- No scars after the procedure
- Reduces the volume of the nodule
- Recovery is faster
- Reduces signs and improves the quality of life
Can Thyroid Nodules Grow After Radio Frequency Ablation?
People who had RFA found a reduction in the nodule size and the signs also improve. Once the thyroid nodules are removed using radiofrequency energy, they do not regrow back in most cases. But, in rare cases, the thyroid nodule may regrow, but they are non-cancerous. Hence, it is important to have regular ultrasounds after the RFA procedure. This helps to monitor the size of the nodule and to know the appearance of the treated thyroid nodule.
Have a Thyroid Nodule and Looking for Treatment? Meet Dr Pradyumna Reddy Today
If you have a thyroid nodule and are interested in the RFA procedure, meet Dr Pradyumna Reddy today. Dr Pradyumna Reddy has over 6 years of experience as an interventional radiologist in Hyderabad. He has performed hundreds of RFA procedures and helped patients improve their signs. He closely works with you to develop the most appropriate and advanced treatments and care. If you have any questions about RFA treatment for thyroid nodules, schedule your appointment with Dr Pradyumna Reddy today.