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Minimally Invasive Treatment for Benign Thyroid Nodules Available from Our Expert Team

Moffitt doctor who treats thyroid nodules

The Interventional Radiology and Endocrinology teams at Moffitt Cancer Center are bringing years of tumor ablation experience to the treatment of benign thyroid nodules, using radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to provide patients a viable scarless alternative to surgery when that is desired. Our thyroid ablation program utilizes a dedicated thyroid RFA device, and our medical team and treated patients are very satisfied with the results.

Currently, this treatment is offered for:

  • biopsy-proven benign thyroid nodules if patients are experiencing symptoms or cosmetic issues as a direct result of the nodule
  • toxic nodules

RFA has been heavily studied and utilized for treatment of tumors for decades. 15 years ago, physicians in South Korea began studying RFA to treat thyroid nodules, and since then the procedure has been widely accepted throughout Asia and Europe. An RFA device specifically designed for thyroid ablation received FDA approval in 2018. Today there are more than 200 studies worldwide showing the safety and efficacy of the procedure. A 2019 study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed the following results:

Percentage of Volume Reduction Recorded for All Nodules According to Baseline Size
percentage of volume reduction recorded chart
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Volume 104, Issue 9, September 2019, Pages 3751–3756

Thyroid RFA is an outpatient procedure done under local anesthesia, unless the patient requests otherwise. Complications are mild and rare. A study published in 2017 in the Korean Journal of Radiology showed the following 30-day complications in 372 patients: transient voice change (0.7%), small hematoma (3.6%), skin burn (0.4%), mild edema (3.6%), hyperthyroidism (0.4%), coughing (0.7%).


Video courtesy of RF Medical