YOUR HEALTH: Ablation treats thyroid nodules

Up to 70 percent of all adults may have thyroid nodules at one point in their lives.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 6:13 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 7:22 AM CST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Up to 70 percent of all adults may have thyroid nodules at one point in their lives. Most are non-cancerous, and many go undiscovered or are found by accident during testing for other conditions. Now, doctors are using a non-invasive method to shrink some benign nodules in a procedure that takes less than an hour.

Michelle Bylaw discovered a problem with her thyroid by accident.

“I just happened to be touching my neck and noticed a bump there,” she recalls.

A thyroid nodule, not cancerous, but as months went on, the nodule continued to grow.

She adds, “I was also getting concerned about whether it would eventually affect my swallowing or anything else in that area.”

For years, surgery has been the traditional treatment for cancerous thyroid nodules, and for benign nodules that keep growing. Now, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are among the first to use radio frequency ablation to treat non-cancerous nodules. Using ultrasound guidance, doctors put a special needle into the nodule.

Cleveland Clinic endocrine surgeon, Dr. Eren Berber, MD, explains, “We start the ablation process, which involves delivering a certain amount of energy for the needles so that the nodule is heated.”

The procedure lasts up to an hour. Over a three-to-six-month period, the medical team uses ultrasound to monitor the nodule.

“Within six months, you can have up to about 50% reduction of the size of the nodule in terms of its volume,” Dr. Berber adds.

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