Thyroid Nodule RFA

Thyroid Nodule RFA

A thyroid nodule is a growth in the thyroid gland that begins as a small lump and gradually grows larger. Some nodules stay relatively small, while others grow and then stop growing–and others grow indefinitely. 

The thyroid gland produces and stores hormones called Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones control the metabolism, temperature, heart rate, and other functions of the body. 

If the number of thyroid hormones in the blood is too low, the brain produces TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone). TSH stimulates the production of thyroid hormones. However, if TSH stays high for a long period of time, it leads to the growth of the thyroid gland.

Symptoms of thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodules produce excess thyroid hormones and cause hormonal imbalances, including changes in metabolism and heart rate, and increased sweating. 

Thyroid nodules can also grow and push on adjacent structures in the neck, even encompassing and compressing surrounding structures such as the esophagus or trachea, causing difficulty swallowing, or shortness of breath and/or coughing. A lump in the neck may also be noticeable.

What is thyroid nodule RFA?

Thyroid nodule RFA is a treatment that uses radiofrequency energy to destroy the nodule in the thyroid without having to surgically open the neck. RFA, or radiofrequency ablation, is a procedure that uses radio waves to heat and destroy tissues. 

If a nodule in the thyroid is large or growing and it is not cancerous, RFA is the appropriate treatment.

What happens during thyroid nodule RFA treatment?

To perform the RFA therapy technique on a thyroid nodule, Dr. Larian will use a small needle-like probe. He will use ultrasound guidance to place this probe inside the thyroid nodule. The probe emits radiofrequency energy in the area where it is placed. Each area of the nodule is treated, one after the other, until the entire nodule is fully addressed. 

Once the RFA procedure is completed, the nodule changes shape. The destroyed cells are absorbed into the body’s natural immune system. The nodule gets smaller and smaller, and in some cases will disappear completely. Larger nodules may need a second procedure to shrink adequately.

No other tissues are harmed or affected by this procedure, allowing Dr. Larian to effectively treat and destroy the thyroid nodule without causing any other damage.

Why choose thyroid nodule RFA with Dr. Larian?

Dr. Babak Larian is a board-certified Ear, Nose, & Throat Specialist and Head & Neck surgeon. He has been the Clinical Chief of the Division of Otolaryngology at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles for ten years, and he is a founding member of the Cedars-Sinai Head & Neck Center of Excellence.

Dr. Larian’s experience in treating thyroid nodules makes him an authority in the field. He trains other surgeons and leads national conferences in addition to maintaining his private practice. Patients can trust that they are in the hands of the very best with Dr. Larian, whose care for his patients and outstanding expertise puts them at ease. 

© 2022 CENTER for Advanced Head & Neck Surgery All Rights Reserved. By Babak Larian, MD FACS

The information available on this website is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions, and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.