Radiofrequency Ablation Of Thyroid Nodules
Kathleen Hands, MD, FACE, ECNU
Thyroidologist, Advanced thyroid assessment for thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer.
Dr. Kathleen Hands has been evaluating and saving hundreds of thyroid glands per year for the past 40 years. Over the past 7 years use of genetic markers have allowed observation of nodules without surgical intervention. Up to now, large compressive nodules, even if benign, still required surgical excision for compressive symptoms. Dr. Hands is very pleased to introduce a non-surgical treatment for large benign thyroid nodules that should prevent the dreaded thyroid surgery once symptoms present. No one wants their gland to be replaced by drugs requiring more doctor visits, labs and prescriptions for life, especially for such benign disease!
Using the V1000 RF Ablation System, this new method applies dense vibrating energy to the thyroid nodule that effectively destroys nodule tissue without injuring the healthy outer thyroid tissue. The benefits are the elimination of the symptoms from the very large nodule and preservation of thyroid function without a surgical neck scar. Most patients when given the option prefer not having a neck scar or possibly require medication for life following surgery. With RFA the procedure is done in the office under local anesthesia offering patients no down time from work or home duties, while preserving the rest of their normal tissue. With Radiofrequency technique, the energy is applied under ultrasound guidance and the damage to the healthy tissue is therefore avoided. The functioning thyroid lobe is preserved, the thyroid nodule shrinks in size, and over a few months most symptoms and visible neck lumps are relieved.
This procedure has been performed in Italy and South America almost 8 years and over 17 years in Korea.
Over the past decade, Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is being used extensively in other organ tissue with great success in America . It received approval for use in soft (i.e. thyroid) tissue 2018.
Currently, there are very few providers in the United States who perform this technique. Many patients have been traveling to Italy and Korea to have their nodules treated. This is no longer necessary.
Patients who have thyroid nodule symptoms will need a comprehensive evaluation including neck ultrasound, ultrasound guided biopsy with benign results (for now… cancer studies are ongoing). In time, it is hoped the procedure is widely accepted and will be performed by either endocrinologist, interventional radiologist, or surgeons. Patients are the largest advocates for the non-surgical solution to the treatment of benign thyroid nodules.
Contact the Thyroid Center of South Texas. An evaluation by Dr. Hands will determine if you are a candidate for RFA. 210-491-9494
A recent paper published by Dr. Wei-Che Lin presents their work performing PET scans on patients with FLUS pathology (follicular lesion pathology on FNA). If the PET scan had an SUV <5 RFA was performed, if >5, were referred for surgery. They were followed...