Thyroid nodules are a common occurrence, particularly in women, and can cause a range of symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, excessive hormone production, and pressure inside the neck. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a novel treatment that is very successful in reducing the size of thyroid nodules, making it an attractive alternative for those who experience problems caused by benign thyroid nodules. At the Utah Thyroid Institute, RFA is performed in-office with local anesthesia only and with no increased risk of the procedure. The thyroid gland itself is not sensitive to pain, and the skin and the surrounding area of the thyroid gland are anesthetized for the procedure.
RFA is considered effective and successful when the nodule is reduced by 50% or more. The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, the Associazione Medici Endocrinologi and the European Thyroid Association have all issued medical guidelines for clinical practice for the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid nodules. In order for a patient to be eligible to undergo RFA, they must have symptoms of thyroid nodules but not want surgery, and must have cytological confirmation of the benign nature of the nodule with an ultrasound-guided (US) fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) examination according to the American Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology10 and nodule unchanged in the U. S.
US month. RFA is a safe and effective treatment for recurrent cysts as well as thyroid nodules. On rare occasions when the nodule grows back and the patient becomes symptomatic again, RFA may be repeated or traditional thyroid surgery may be considered. Patients who undergo standard thyroid nodule surgery cannot resume normal activity for at least one month and 20 to 30 percent of these patients require thyroid medication. If you have symptoms of thyroid nodules but don't want surgery, you may be a candidate for RFA and should discuss this with your endocrinologist. Radiofrequency ablation is an effective treatment option that can reduce the size of benign thyroid nodules without requiring surgery or long recovery times.