What to Expect from Thyroid RFA
Thyroid RFA has been used throughout Europe and Asia for decades but is now gaining popularity in the United States for its high success rate. It is FDA-approved, safe, and relatively painless.
In Thyroid RFA, your endocrinologist uses ultrasound to guide an electrode directly into the nodule being treated. A mild electric current is delivered into the nodule, killing the damaged cells while leaving the thyroid unharmed. The electrode is constantly moving during the treatment to avoid overheating the tissue and ensure that 100% of the thyroid is ablated. Most patients don’t even feel the electric current, or if they do, it is only while the current is actively being applied.
After the procedure is complete, the treated nodule continues to shrink for about a year, with most patients seeing a 50%-80% reduction in size. In addition, there’s no downtime from the procedure since there’s no general anesthesia or sutures and no scarring, making it an excellent alternative to thyroid surgery for many people.
You will need to attend follow-up appointments to have a thyroid ultrasound done to evaluate your nodule’s size and check your thyroid’s function. These follow-up appointments are typically scheduled for 6-8 weeks, six months, and one year after the procedure. In most patients, no thyroid pills are required.
When to Consider Thyroid RFA for Your Thyroid Nodules
If your thyroid nodule interferes with your quality of life because it’s causing compression on your neck and making it hard to breathe, swallow, or speak, or if your nodule is large enough to cause cosmetic concerns, your endocrinologist may recommend TRA as an alternative to surgery. It can also be prescribed to treat hyperthyroidism when medication is insufficient to control hormone production.
Your endocrinologist will recommend TRA as long as your thyroid nodules are benign and you aren’t diagnosed with thyroid cancer. If your nodule has calcification, or if you’ve had previous thyroid surgery, the needle may be unable to penetrate the calcium or scar tissue, so TRA would not be a viable option for you.
Associated Endocrinology in Farmington Hills
Contact Associated Endocrinology if you are considering Thyroid RFA in Farmington Hills. We also offer thyroid surgery, thyroid/neck ultrasounds, and ultrasound-guided thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies to treat all your thyroid conditions.