Thyroid RFA

Educational information on the radiofrequency ablation procedure

Physician Testimonials

Physician Testimonial on Thyroid RFA
Dr. Bridget Brady
Dr. Leonardo Rangel

Physician Testimonial on Thyroid RFA (from Dr. Leonardo Rangel)

Dr. Cristina Boccalandro

Physician Testimonial on Thyroid RFA (from Dr. Cristina Boccalandro)

Thyroid RFA

What is Thyroid RFA?

Thyroid RFA is a minimally-invasive medical procedure alternative to surgeries for treating Benign nodules 2,3,4,5,6,7,8. A primary benefit over traditional surgery is that the thyroid, and its function, is preserved.

The Thyroid RFA Procedure

Each procedure may vary slightly depending on the patient’s circumstances. In general, however, the patient receives 2 Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) biopsies to confirm that the nodule(s) are benign. The patient will be asked to speak during the procedure so that any voice changes can be immediately resolved. The ultrasound and RF Equipment is readied, and the patient is positioned on the treatment table, neck extended. The patient is given local anesthesia to make the session as comfortable as possible.

Once the nodule is located with the Ultrasound, the internally-cooled RFA Electrode (a needle that has an active zone to deliver energy) is safely introduced into the nodule. The RF Generator is activated and the ablation begins. The Electrode is repositioned within the nodule every few seconds until the entire nodule is ablated, or treated.

After the nodule(s) are ablated, the patient is given a voice test to confirm no changes (called dysphonia). The patient is also given an over-the-counter pain reliever and ice pack for cooling down the neck area.

Depending on the number, size, and location of the nodules, the entire procedure may last for 1-2 hours, with the actual ablation taking only a few minutes per nodule.

Benefits of Thyroid RFA

Improved Quality of Life12

Unlike surgery, RFA allows thyroid hormones to return to normal, eliminating the need for a lifetime of hormone supplements.

Immediate Symptom Improvement9

RFA immediately stops the growth of nodules and Studies shows that nodules shrink by 80% in the 1st year and by more than 90% in the next 3 years

Low Complication Rate10

Studies conclude out of 2,421 patients received RFA, only 2.38% of them had a complication. 1.35% of the complications are minor.

Incision-free Procedure11

Because there is no surgical incision with RFA, there is no residual scar

Quick Recovery11

Because there is no incision, and only local anesthesia, patients generally go home in a few hours, and return to their normal activities within 1-2 days.