Radiofrequency ablation is a non-surgical alternative to invasive procedures to reduce or eliminate benign thyroid nodules. Receiving radiofrequency ablation can improve your quality of life by alleviating discomfort and allowing you to eat, speak, and breathe normally.
Associated Endocrinologists is the first practice to offer RFA ablation for thyroid nodules in Michigan, serving patients in Novi and the surrounding areas of Oakland county. Our experienced physicians have specialized training in thyroid ultrasonography and thyroid RFA to ensure you are comfortable and safe during the procedure.
What is Thyroid RFA Ablation?
RFA ablation is a non-invasive procedure used to address thyroid issues. The technique has been used for decades to treat chronic neck pain, arthritic knee pain, cardiovascular issues, and some types of cancer. However, in recent years, studies have shown radiofrequency ablation to be a highly effective method for removing benign thyroid nodules, and the technique received FDA approval.
Thyroid RFA treatment consists of an electrode needle and a generator. The generator creates an alternating electric current to create ionic friction and heat energy—the heat transfers from the needle’s tip to the unhealthy thyroid tissue.
After applying a numbing gel and injecting local anesthetic into the area above the thyroid, your RFA doctor uses ultrasound guidance to map the area. This allows them to guide the needle, ensuring targeted therapy without damaging healthy thyroid tissue. The doctor inserts the needle through the center of the neck (trans-isthmic approach.) Once the needle reaches the target area of the nodule, they activate the radiofrequency generator.
The RFA doctor uses a technique known as the moving shot, during which the electrode continuously moves inside the thyroid gland. This prevents the tissue from overheating and ensures that the needle reaches all the nodule tissue so it is completely ablated.
By the end of the procedure, the majority of the nodule’s cells are dead, and the nodule shrinks over the next six to twelve months.
Because the procedure is performed under a local anesthetic, you can resume your normal activities immediately after completing treatment.
Common Symptoms of Thyroid Nodules
RFA ablation is one of several effective treatment options for benign thyroid nodules. Thyroid nodules are sometimes asymptomatic and are only discovered after a manual exam by your doctor. However, in other cases, they can produce a wide range of physical symptoms, including:
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Hoarseness or vocal changes
- Neck pain
- Goiter (thyroid gland enlargement)
Thyroid nodules can also produce too much of the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), leading to hyperthyroidism. This can cause symptoms such as:
- Muscle weakness and tremors
- Light or absent menstrual periods
- Rapid weight loss
- Vision problems
- Increased heat sensitivity
- Decreased appetite
- Skin irritation
- Thinning hair
- Skin flushing
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
Depending on the type, size, and location of the thyroid nodules, you may also experience symptoms of low thyroid hormone production (hypothyroidism), which include:
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Frequent, heavy menstruation
- Difficulty concentrating and forgetfulness
- Weight gain
- Dry, coarse skin and hair
- Hair loss
- Cold sensitivity
- Weakness and irritability
- Bloating and constipation
- Generalized swelling
Get Thyroid RFA Near Novi, MI
If you experience any symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, or if you notice any palpable lumps on your neck, contact Associated Endocrinologists for a consultation. Our dedicated physicians can assess your thyroid and determine whether any lumps are benign or cancerous using a thyroid ultrasound or a thyroid ultrasound-guided biopsy.
They can then create a treatment plan and recommend innovative treatment options such as radiofrequency ablation to address your thyroid issues, alleviate symptoms, and help you enjoy a healthier life.
If you live in Novi, contact one of our two Oakland County locations using our convenient online form.