Home - Radio frequency ablation (RFA)

AVOID THYROID SURGERY WITH THE NEW FDA APPROVED PROCEDURE

Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) of the thyroid now an outpatient procedure performed at our Thyroid Center by Dr. Agustin A. Andrade, M.D., ECNU.

Dr. Agustin A. Andrade, M.D., ECNU has pioneered the RFA of the Thyroid in the Southern United States at the Thyroid, Parathyroid and Pituitary Center for Miami. This revolutionary treatment is aimed to avoid thyroid surgery of benign nodules that are more than or equal to two (2) centimeters in size and is performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic. Prior to the procedure, it is required that two Fine Needle Aspirations of the Thyroid Nodule (FNA) are obtained to prove lesions are benign.

The RFA procedure helps patients avoid conventional thyroid surgery and abnormal thyroid/parathyroid functions that may occur as a result of it. After 30 minutes of post-procedure observation, patients are able to go home and resume daily activities.

FAQ about Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radio Frequency Ablation of the Thyroid (RFA) is an outpatient treatment to reduce the size of benign thyroid nodules that are either symptomatic (problems to swallow, discomfort of the neck, foreign body sensation) or cosmetic problems.

RFA is performed under local anesthesia (patient is awake without pain). Doctor Agustin A. Andrade, M.D., ECNU inserts a thin needle into the nodule through the skin.  A high frequency current is then passed through the tip of the needle which heats the tumor and destroys the thyroid nodule.

This is very unlikely with the Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA).   RFA causes less than 1.0%  (0.07 to 1.0%) Hypothyroidsm. In conventional surgery, the risk of hypothyroidism goes from 50% chance if half of the thyroid is removed to 100% if the whole thyroid is removed.

Hematoma                  1%

Voice Change            1%

Skin Burn                     0.22%

Tumor rupture           0.1%

Abscess                        0.07%

Hypothyroidism          0.07%

RFA has been validated over many years in large series of patients and approved by the FDA in March 2018.

Time of the procedure could vary between 30 – 45 minutes depending on the size of the nodule.

This outpatient procedure is aimed only for benign nodules that have:

  1. Symptoms like dysphagia (difficulty swallowing food or liquids), foreign body sensation, discomfort or cough.
  2. Cosmetic problems.
  3. Hyper function thyroid nodule

Clinical trials in Italy and South Korea has demonstrated a 50% – 80% durable nodule shrinkage after thyroid nodule ablation.

Patient will be observed between 20 – 40 minutes before going home

Patient will have a pressure or burning sensation in the neck, jaw or chest that will last for a few hours

RFA SURGERY
LOCAL ANESTHESIA GENERAL ANESTHESIA
RECURRENT NERVE DAMAGE RISK: 1%

(VOICE AFFECTION)

RECURRENT NERVE DAMAGE RISK: 7-14%

(VOICE AFFECTION)

NO SURGICAL SCAR YES POST-SURGICAL SCAR
OUTPATIENT PROCEDURE HOSPITAL ADMISSION BETWEEN 1-3 DAYS
MINIMAL PAIN AFTER PROCEDURE PAIN AFTER SURGERY
COST IN THE UNITED STATES

AROUND $5,000 – $7,000

COST IN THE UNITED STATES

AROUND $14,000 – $20,000