Thyroid gland is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck just below the voice box. Thyroid gland produces hormone that is required for our metabolism with under or over hormone secretion both causing physical problems.
Thyroid Nodule Radiofrequency Ablation: The Latest Minimally Invasive Treatment
Thyroid nodule comes about as a result of growths on the thyroid. Although these growths are usually non-cancerous, they should be dealt with before they start causing serious problems.
Radiofrequency ablation aims to give patients a non-surgical option for treating thyroid nodules. This procedure is a minimally invasive option that a surgeon can perform, should the preliminary tests determine that you would benefit from it.
Thyroid nodules are abnormal lumps (growths) within the thyroid gland. This is a very common condition seen in approximately 30% of adults. These are more commonly seen in females. There can be single or multiple thyroid nodules.
Here are a few things to know about thyroid nodules and how thyroid RFA can help.
Symptoms of Thyroid Nodule Growth
Some symptoms you’re likely to experience when thyroid nodules begin to grow include:
- Breathing and (or) swallowing difficulties
- Weight gain or loss
- Heat intolerance
- Muscle weakness
Prevention, Causes, and Risk Factors
Thyroid nodules are of various forms, from soft and fluid-filled examples to hard and solid ones. Most aren’t grave, but receiving a biopsy to confirm the severity is the ideal solution. Also, they vary in size from tiny ones that need a doctor’s examination to discover to others that grow large while impeding breathing and swallowing. Nodules grow due to either iodine excess and deficiencies or thyroid autoimmunity. Therefore, you must balance your iodine levels and improve your gut health.
Though these symptoms could point to other conditions, for proper confirmation, have a biopsy. The purpose is to prove the nodule is benign and predominantly solid. If the nodule is primarily fluid-filled or cystic, it’s better treated using alcohol ablation. Whenever you experience some of the symptoms listed above, visit the doctor.
Thyroid problems can vary, so it is best to receive the advice of a physician to determine the ultimate course of treatment. Ultrasound scan followed by fine needle biopsy (FNAC) is done to decide on nature of the thyroid nodules.
Treatment and Management
During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a small needle electrode into the thyroid’s nodule through ultrasound guidance. It’s uncommon for RFA treatments to produce serious complications, as it is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure. However, it’s possible to experience bleeding, a hoarse voice, infection, and skin burns, so receiving treatment from a medical facility with the utmost safety protocols and best practices is advisable.
- Monitor with regular ultrasound scan and biopsy if required.
- Surgical resection of partial or whole thyroid gland
- Radiofrequency ablation of thyroid nodules
As mentioned above to be one of the latest techniques for treating patients, RFA, of thyroid nodules is a minimally invasive technique with a small special needle under ultrasound guidance. Heat energy is applied to the nodule using this needle with destruction of cells from within. The nodules gradually shrink in size on follow-up and become a scar tissue within the normal thyroid gland.
Thyroid Nodule Advantages of RFA
For patients who undergo the radiofrequency ablation treatment, a good number have shown a size reduction in the first six months. In others, the nodules disappear completely or significantly improve. Other advantages include the following:
- Preserving your thyroid tissue and allowing for normal function
- Avoiding a lifetime of medication
- No visible scarring coupled with quite a short recovery time
- Improving the patient’s quality of life
- Quick recovery and back to full activity and normal lifestyle
The Surgical Advantages of RFA of Thyroid Nodules
Not only that, RFA of thyroid nodules serve surgical advantages. The major advantages of the technique are as below.
- It is done as day surgery procedure under light sedation.
- It takes about 45 minutes to one hour to complete the entire procedure.
- Patients are discharged the same day.
- Normal thyroid tissue adjacent to the nodule is preserved.
- Multiple nodules can be treated at same time.
- The treated nodules do not regrow again.
- The technique is suitable to treat even large thyroid nodules.
Preparing For Surgery and Recovery
Before the thyroid nodule treatment procedure, the nurse gives you a low-dose sedative to help you relax. This is followed by an externally applied anesthetic localized to the area to receive treatment. Most patients take this time to catch a nap or listen to their favorite music.
Once the doctor is ready, they insert a thin needle directly into the nodule with ultrasound imaging guidance. The radiofrequency energy needed to target the tissue is then emitted from the tip as the physician guides the instrument across the whole nodule. In 30 to 45 minutes, you can be on your way home with over-the-counter painkillers in case of discomfort afterward.
For the convenience that thyroid nodule Radiofrequency Ablation surgery offers over other treatments, such as Radioactive Iodine, there’s only one option. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may never have to think about surgery.
Read More About Thyroid Nodules on Our Blog
To dive deeper into thyroid nodules, head over to our clinic’s blog. Read our recommended thyroid nodule related blog posts to stay informed.
- Types of Thyroid Nodules and Cancers
- Hyperthyroidism: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments
- Hypothyroidism: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
- How to Keep Thyroid Healthy for Optimal Well-Being
As a premiere clinic in Singapore for thyroid nodule treatments, our state-of-the-art facilities and dedication to patient satisfaction ensure we help you best with a positive outcome.
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