What is Radiofrequency Ablation?
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses an alternating electric current to generate heat at the tip of a needle-like probe. The needle is inserted into your skin then heated to destroy cells and tissue inside. This shrinks unwanted tissues and provides pain relief.
How is it Used in Thyroid Treatment?
Radiofrequency ablation offers thyroid patients an alternative to surgery for the treatment of their thyroid nodules. Most thyroid nodules are benign and don’t require removal. However, some patients experience thyroid nodules that grow, causing pain and swelling in their throat.
Previously, patients with bothersome thyroid nodules could only get relief through surgical removal. Now they have the non-invasive option of radiofrequency ablation to treat their thyroid nodules.
Thyroid RFA treatment is used to shrink your thyroid nodules by destroying the targeted nodule through heat. It doesn’t leave scarring like surgery, and patients only require a single treatment.
How is Radiofrequency Ablation Performed?
You’ll lie on your back for the procedure, with your neck exposed. Your doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic before inserting the needle-based probe into your thyroid nodule. Your doctor then uses an ultrasound to help guide the placement of the needle.
Once inserted, the tip of the needle heats up, causing cells inside the nodule to die, shrinking your nodule. Most patients feel no discomfort or pain during the procedure. Radiofrequency ablation treatment of your thyroid can take anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the number of thyroid nodules present.
What are the Risks of the Procedure?
Thyroid RFA is a very safe procedure, with minimal risks and complications. A small number of patients may experience nausea, feel faint, get a mild burn on their skin, or have temporary voice strain following the procedure. Risks and complications are much lower than with surgical removal of your thyroid nodules.
Is it Safe for Everyone?
No, some patients aren’t candidates for thyroid RFA. Patients with a history of thyroid cancer, thyroid surgery, and radiation treatments for their thyroid should avoid this procedure.
Other patients ineligible for the ablation procedure include:
- Patients with pacemakers and defibrillators
- Pregnant patients
- Patients on blood thinners
- Patients with heart disease
Radiofrequency Ablation in Farmington Hills, MI
If you’re suffering from benign thyroid nodules causing you pain or discomfort, consider having a thyroid RFA procedure to alleviate your symptoms.
Associated Endocrinologists offer ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation of thyroid nodules to patients in Farmington Hills and the surrounding areas in Southeast Michigan. Our Board Certified Endocrinologists can help treat your thyroid condition. Contact us today to make an appointment.