Avoid surgery with the safest and most effective            treatment for benign thyroid nodules

Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA)

Not too long ago, surgery was the only effective treatment for thyroid conditions, but thanks to medical developments and advanced technology, many thyroid issues can now be treated with non-invasive outpatient procedures.

Dr. Agustin A. Andrade, MD, ECNU, is a pioneer in Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) and one of only a handful of experts who perform this innovative treatment in the country, so you can expect the highest standards of care when you choose the Thyroid, Parathyroid, and Pituitary Center for Miami.

RFA is a non-surgical, FDA approved outpatient procedure that focuses on benign nodules of more than or equal to 2 centimeters in size and is performed under local anesthetic. Before this treatment, it’s required that patients have 2 Fine Needle Aspirations of the Thyroid Nodule (FNA) done, in order to make sure the nodules are benign.

RFA can help you avoid conventional thyroid surgery and abnormal thyroid/parathyroid functions that may occur as a result of it. It’s a non-invasive procedure that allows you to go home and resume your daily activities after just 20 to 40 minutes of post-procedure observation.

RFA 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 can go home and resume daily activities.

What You Need to Know about RFA

Radio Frequency Ablation is an outpatient treatment to reduce the size of benign thyroid nodules that are symptomatic and may cause difficulty swallowing, neck discomfort or foreign body sensation, as well as for cosmetic reasons.

A patient is given a local anesthetic (meaning the patient is awake without pain). Then, our doctor inserts a thin needle into the nodule through the skin.  A high-frequency current passes through the tip of the needle, which heats the tumor and destroys the thyroid nodule.

This is very unlikely. RFA causes less than 1.0% chance of hypothyroidism. In conventional surgery, the risk of hypothyroidism goes from a 50% chance if half of the thyroid is removed to 100% if the whole thyroid is removed.

This is a case where the numbers speak for themselves.

Hematoma  1%
Voice Change  1%

Skin Burn  0.22%
Tumor Rupture  0.1%

Abscess  0.07%
Hypothyroidism  0.07%

Since RFA was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, no university or teaching facility has or is training doctors on this procedure. Therefore, the great majority of physicians in the United States have not been exposed to, or are not yet aware of its existence, as opposed to Europe or Korea where RFA has been vastly known for the past 20 years.

The time of the procedure could vary between 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the nodule.

This non-surgical procedure is only for patients with benign modules that have:

  • Symptoms, Such as Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing Food or Liquids), Foreign Body Sensation, Discomfort, or Cough
  • Cosmetic Problems
  • A Hyperfunction Thyroid Nodule

Clinical trials in Italy and South Korea have demonstrated 50% to 80% durable nodule shrinkage after RFA.

If you have a hyperfunctional nodule in the thyroid, the best treatment for you is RFA.

The patient will be in observation for 20 to 40 minutes after treatment.

The patient will feel a pressure or burning sensation in the neck, jaw, or chest that will last for a few hours.

Looking at the two side by side, there are considerable differences between both:

 RFA

  • Local Anesthesia
  • 1% Risk of Recurrent Never Damage (Voice Change)
  • No Scarring
  • Outpatient Procedure
  • Minimal Pain Afterward
  • Cost in the United States -- $5,000 to $7,000

Surgery

  • General Anesthesia
  • Recurrent Nerve Damage Risk: 7% to 14% (Voice Change)
  • Scarring
  • Hospital Stay of 1 to 3 Days
  • Pain After Surgery
  • Cost in the United States  $14,000 to  $20,000

Find out more about non-surgical RFA. Call our practice to schedule a consultation.