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Thyroid Ablation


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Thyroid nodules are a common condition that can be due to inflammation, goiters, iodine deficiency, or even cancer. If thyroid nodules are benign (noncancerous), they can still cause discomfort or cosmetic concerns. Thyroid ablation is a minimally invasive procedure to treat tumors and nodules on the thyroid.

During thyroid ablation, your interventional radiologist will use either radiofrequency energy or an alcohol solution to destroy specific tissue in your thyroid gland. This treatment can eliminate nodules and the problems associated with them.

The University of Miami Health System has a robust interventional radiology program trained in minimally invasive techniques to treat thyroid conditions.

Who is a Candidate?

Our experts use thyroid ablation for patients with thyroid conditions, including thyroid nodules and cysts.

For some patients, thyroid radiofrequency ablation (RFA) can be a good alternative to surgical treatment. Patients with the following conditions can benefit from thyroid ablation:

  • Benign thyroid nodules
  • Over-functioning nodules
  • Solid thyroid nodules
  • Thyroid nodules that cause cosmetic concerns or pressure

What to Expect

Thyroid ablation is a minimally invasive procedure, and patients can go home the same day as their treatment.

Before the procedure

Your care team will apply a local anesthetic around your thyroid before the procedure to keep you from feeling any discomfort during your ablation. You may also get a sedative to help you relax.

During the procedure

Your physician will use ultrasound to guide a thin needle through your thyroid gland to the nodule or tissue that is causing problems. During RFA, they will deliver radiofrequency through the tip of the needle. This energy helps to break down the affected tissue.

During alcohol ablation, your physician will inject an ethanol alcohol solution into your thyroid cyst. Like RFA, they will use ultrasound to guide them to the appropriate spot for injection.

The entire procedure generally takes less than one hour.

After the procedure

Your care team will monitor you after your procedure, for 1-2 hours, and then you will be able to go home. If you received a sedative, you must arrange a ride home. You may have minor pain or bruising after the procedure and can take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to ease discomfort.

You will follow up with your physician after your ablation. Because thyroid diseases can be complex, they will continue to monitor and recommend treatments for your specific condition.

Why Choose UHealth?

Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists and radiology specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — including thyroid and alcohol ablation.

A comprehensive, team approach to thyroid disorders. Our endocrinologists work closely with endocrine surgeons, fertility specialists, oncologists, nuclear medicine specialists, ophthalmologists, dietitians, and others to provide complete care for your thyroid condition. We address all aspects of your condition to improve your health and well-being.

Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers who are discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can benefit from some of today’s most promising advancements. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.

Customized, continuous thyroid care. Thyroid disorders often require ongoing management. That’s why we consider your lifestyle and needs to develop a treatment plan that’s right for you. We make sure you have the information and resources to manage your health. And, with locations throughout South Florida, you can find expert care close to home.

Questions? We're here to help.

Our appointment specialists are ready to help you find what you need. Contact us today.