Thyroid Nodules & Radiofrequency Ablation

Thyroid nodules are very common, and most of these are benign.  However, even benign nodules may be symptomatic if they are large enough to put pressure on your windpipe or esophagus making it feel like something is stuck in your throat, like it’s difficult to breathe when you’re lying down, or even feeling like food sticks when you swallow. Previously, our only option to get rid of these nodules would be surgery in the operating room to remove part of your thyroid gland. Although it would get rid of your nodule, it would also require general anesthesia, leave a neck scar, and sometimes require you to take thyroid replacement hormone for the rest of your life.

Fortunately, we now have a cutting edge technique, Radiofrequency Ablation, to shrink these thyroid nodules in the office under local anesthesia with no neck scars. It also preserves the function of the rest of the thyroid gland, so need for replacement hormone as a result of the procedure is extremely unlikely. Almost all patients are back to normal activities the following day. The procedure is repeatable and doesn’t burn any bridges if surgery were ever needed later.

Although exciting, this procedure is not for all thyroid nodules. Nodules must cause compressive symptoms, cause an unsightly visible bulge in the neck, or be persistently growing. They must be proven benign on two different biopsies. This procedure is not for those with cancerous or indeterminant nodules, large multinodular goiters, pregnant women, or those with pacemakers or defibrillators.  Please check out our full RFA page for more information.