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EndocrineWeb Community Advice

Treat Thyroid Nodules Without Surgery

From: thyroidrfa - 20 weeks 2 days ago

A new minimally invasive procedure is available for patients to treat their symptomatic, non-cancerous thyroid nodules. This procedure is called radio-frequency ablation (RFA). RFA allows patients to experience shorter recovery times, less pain, fewer complications, and no scarring. They also usually experience better outcomes than those who choose surgery.

The following is a list of facts regarding thyroid nodules:

There are approximately 150,000 thyroidectomies performed each year; Around 50% are for benign nodules.
Thyroid nodules are three times more common in women than in men.
30% of 30-year-old women will have a thyroid nodule.
Most women will develop a thyroid nodule by the time they are 50 years old.
50% of 50-year-old women will have at least one thyroid nodule.
60% of 60-year-old women will have at least one thyroid nodule.
70% of 70-year-old women will have at least one thyroid nodule.

A widely available option in other countries, radiofrequency ablation is finally available in the United States. Developed over 15 years ago, this non-surgical alternative shrinks nodules without compromising thyroid function and helps avoid the long recovery times and possible complications of thyroid surgery.

As a Thyroidologist (an endocrinologist dedicated to thyroid health) I was very excited to start RFA for my patients with compressive or protruding thyroid nodules. Patients with pressure in their neck or suffering from choking sensation would normally be sent to surgery. Now, As the first woman performing RFA in America, my patients have dramatic improvement of these symptoms within a month with near complete resolution in 3 months from dramatic shrinkage while maintaining NORMAL THYROID FUNCTION. The procedure is outpatient in my office suite, and takes an hour with only local anesthesia. No down time, no long recovery, no scar and no concerns over losing thyroid function. - Dr. Kathleen Hands, Medical Director of the Thyroid and Endocrine Center of South Texas in San Antonio.

Patients with benign nodules that are causing pain, difficulty breathing or swallowing and any swelling are great candidates for RFA. Within 2-3 weeks, most patients notice a reduction in nodule size and continue to see an increased reduction in the following year, up to 90%.

Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation

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