As you get older, it is very common to develop lumps or bumps in the thyroid called thyroid nodules. In most cases, thyroid nodules are non-cancerous and do not cause any problems. But some thyroid nodules may cause certain signs. If the thyroid nodules become too large, they can cause breathing and swallowing difficulties, discomfort, voice changes, cough, soreness, etc. If thyroid nodules cause discomfort and signs, then you may need to undergo to get rid of them.
Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a non-invasive procedure that can be used to reduce the size of nodules and to restore the functioning of the thyroid. RFA uses radio waves to shrink the thyroid nodules.
Why Should I Choose RFA?
RFA is a non-surgical procedure and thyroid nodules can be easily treated without undergoing surgery. Unlike surgery, RFA can be completed in less time and it is completely safe. You can even resume to your daily activities with minimal recovery time. Surgery involves removing a part of the thyroid. But RFA shrinks the thyroid nodules and in fact, improves the functioning of the thyroid.
The following are the benefits of RFA:
- Less invasive procedure
- Restores the functioning of the thyroid and you do not need to use medications for a lifetime
- Does not remove your thyroid tissue
- Uses local anesthesia during the procedure
- It can be performed on an outpatient basis and you can go back home on the same day
- No scars
- Improved quality of life
- Reduces the volume of the thyroid nodule
Who Can Have a Thyroid RFA?
Any patient who has a benign thyroid nodule can undergo thyroid RFA. Patients who have cosmetic issues due to nodules and who have toxic nodules can have a thyroid RFA. It is also highly suitable for patients who cannot undergo surgery.
Which Thyroid Nodules Can be Treated with RFA?
RFA can treat the following:
- Solid thyroid nodules that are benign
- Thyroid nodules that cause cosmetic issues
- Thyroid nodules that are over functioning and producing more hormones
How to Prepare for Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)?
Before performing RFA, the doctor conducts a biopsy to ensure that the nodule is benign. The doctor will review your medical history, and your current medications. Based on that, the doctor will give you the required instructions. If you are using blood thinners, you should stop taking them prior to the procedure.
What Happens During Radiofrequency Ablation?
To perform the procedure, you need to lie on your head with your neck extended. The doctor will clean the skin and then gives local anesthesia to the treatment area surrounding the thyroid gland. Now, the doctor inserts a thin needle into the nodule using continuous ultrasound guidance. Radiofrequency energy is emitted from the tip of the needle that flows into the thyroid tissue for ablation. The energy to be emitted is carefully controlled by the doctor. The doctor guides the instrument through the nodule to treat as much as the inner volume of the nodule. The doctor asks you if you are feeling any pain during the procedure. If so, the doctor makes adjustments as required.
With RFA, the thyroid nodule can be completely destroyed. The affected tissues will break down, and the nodule will shrink. The affected tissue moves out of the body in the form of waste. After completing the procedure, the treatment site is covered with bandages and you can use ice packs to cool down the neck.
What Happens After the Procedure?
After the procedure, you will be monitored for some time and will be discharged. Most people can get back to their normal activities immediately. You can notice the shrinkage in the first four weeks of the procedure.
The amount of nodule reduction is based on the nature of nodules. The nodules shrink up to 40% to 60% in the first 3 months. By one year, the nodules can shrink up to 97% and your signs also decline.
In most cases, the nodule will not grow back. If it grows back, the procedure can be repeated.
Want to Undergo Thyroid Ablation for Thyroid Nodules? Meet Dr Pradyumna Reddy Today
If you have a thyroid nodule and are willing to undergo the RFA procedure, meet Dr Pradyumna Reddy today. His expertise is minimally invasive surgery for thyroid cancer and other disorders. He uses state-of-the-art medical and surgical machinery to offer cutting edge treatment for his patients. He focuses on offering the evaluation and the appropriate multi-disciplinary treatment suitable for taking care of the patients. To discuss your condition, request an appointment by giving us a call or by filling out the online form.