If you struggle with thyroid issues, seeking high-level care with a certified endocrinologist is essential to getting the right treatment. Trained and certified doctors in the endocrinology field can help you identify your thyroid condition and get the most up-to-date, effective treatments available, including radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
The endocrinologists at Associated Endocrinologists are highly trained and educated health care providers that can give you personalized treatment to help you resolve your thyroid issues. Our goal is to help patients improve their thyroid functioning and live a comfortable life.
Who Are Associated Endocrinologists?
Associated Endocrinologists is an endocrinology treatment and referral center that has been in operation for nearly 40 years. We offer a variety of treatment methods for endocrine diseases and conditions, with a focus on treating thyroid gland issues.
Many of our endocrinologists are certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and have achieved Board Certification in Endocrinology and Metabolism. They have also completed fellowships and Internal Medicine residencies at the following top universities and medical programs in the country:
- University of Michigan
- University of Illinois
- Eastern Virginia Medical school
- Henry Ford Hospital
- Wayne State University School of Medicine
A few of our doctors hold teaching positions at prestigious universities. Lowell Schmeltz, M.D., F.A.C.E. is an associate professor at the William Beaumont School of Medicine at Oakland University.
One of our newest providers, Leedor Lieberman, M.D., finished her Internal Medicine residency in PA at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is associated with the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak.
Jacob L. Moe, DO, specializes in ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsies and is also associated with the William Beaumont Hospital.
When to Speak to Your Physician About Thyroid Nodules
Thyroid nodules are small lesions or tissue aberrations in your thyroid gland. 90% of thyroid nodules are benign; however, in 4% to 6.5% of cases, nodules may indicate thyroid cancer.
If you experience any of the following thyroid gland symptoms, schedule an in-person consultation or virtual visit with one of our Associated Endocrinologists’ compassionate and knowledgeable providers.
- Your thyroid nodules are pressing on your neck and causing difficulty breathing, speaking, or swallowing
- Your nodules are causing chronic pain in and around your throat
- Your nodule’s size is affecting your appearance
- Your quality of life is adversely impacted by your thyroid nodules
- You’ve spoken to your primary care physician and they’ve recommended seeing an endocrine specialist
What is Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment?
As a treatment plan for benign thyroid nodules, your endocrine specialist may suggest you as a candidate for radiofrequency ablation treatment (RFA). RFA is a low-risk medical procedure that helps restore function in patients’ thyroids and reduces nodules up to 80% in size.
This minimally-invasive procedure uses an electric current to thermally damage your thyroid nodule’s abnormal tissues. Your provider places a small needle equipped with an electrode tip through the middle of your neck into your nodule using thyroid ultrasound equipment.
Once they insert the electrode, they turn on radiofrequency waves to create iconic friction and heat, which is transferred from an electrode needle to those abnormal tissues, causing them to die and eventually shrink. Your doctor can typically perform the entire treatment within a quick 15-minute ultrasound visit, although it can take up to an hour, depending on the size, type, and location of the nodules.
Expected Outcome of RFA Surgery
RFA is a safe procedure with very few possible side effects. Typically, patients see their nodules reduced by 50% to 80% twelve months after the surgery. Recovery time is minimal as RFA is an outpatient procedure, which allows you to resume normal activity soon after having it performed.
After the anesthetic has worn off, you may experience some minor tenderness and swelling around the insertion site. Some bruising is also normal for several days after the procedure. For pain relief, you can use over-the-counter medications and an ice pack.
As part of our quality care approach to treatment, you’ll have follow-up appointments at six weeks, six months, and twelve months so our doctors can monitor the nodules’ volume and assess your overall health to determine if there are any potential complications such as nerve damage or vocal changes.
Who is the Ideal Candidate for RFA?
Thyroid RFA is designed to treat benign nodules. If you or your doctor notice palpable nodules during a routine physical exam, or you experience symptoms of hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, such as irregular periods, weight fluctuations, or mood changes, you may have thyroid nodules.
If, after performing an ultrasound or a fine-needle aspiration biopsy, your doctor diagnoses you with benign thyroid nodules, they may prescribe radiofrequency ablation. However, there are several conditions that may preclude you from the procedure. People who are not candidates for thyroid RFA include:
- Pregnant patients
- Patients on blood thinners who cannot safely stop their medication before treatment
- Those who have had previous thyroid gland surgery; the scar tissue may not allow the needle to penetrate effectively
- Patients with calcified nodules
- Patients with nodules that are suspected of being cancerous who haven’t had a biopsy performed
- People with severe heart disease, and those who have pacemakers or defibrillators
- Patients with vocal cord damage
- Patients with small or asymptomatic nodules
How to Make an RFA Appointment
If you suspect that you have thyroid nodules, you can make an appointment with Associated Endocrinologists for an exam and RFA procedure.
For your initial consultation, we offer virtual visits. Contact us at (248) 775-5272 and request a telehealth visit. On your scheduled day, our staff will contact you to set up payment for any copays or deductibles, then you’ll be directed to the virtual waiting room. While you wait, our staff will collect any important medical information and a list of medications you are currently taking.
If your doctor suspects thyroid nodules during your virtual visit, you’ll need to come into the office for a diagnostic ultrasound. The RFA procedure is performed at one of our two Michigan clinics in Farmington Hills and Clarkston. To make an appointment, contact our offices via phone or our convenient online appointment form.
Support Your Thyroid Health With Associated Endocrinologists in Farmington Hills
If you live in Farmington Hills or the surrounding areas in Oakland or Wayne County, and you are considering thyroid RFA, contact Associated Endocrinologists for an appointment. Our dedicated team can provide you with personalized treatment and offer comprehensive care for thyroid and other endocrinological conditions.
Call (248) 775-5272 or use our online form to schedule your appointment today.