Dr.Guttler’s Patient Thyroid Blog Post #19 The Revolution Continues: Small Thyroid Cancers Don’t Need Surgery!
It was only recently that surgery was king for all thyroid cancers.
Surgery was displaced by radiofrequency RFA and ethanol ablation PEI for benign nodules and cysts.
Thyroid RFA has now become the new minimally invasive way to get rid of your small cancer called micro-papillary.
Less than 1.5-2 cm cancers without any evidence of spread to lymph nodes and in selected areas in the thyroid can be RFA ablated.
The use of thyroid RFA equipment with 3-5 mm active hot tip electrodes can use small amount of heat to ablate the cancer.
The procedure takes 20 minutes and has minimal side effects.
Just imagine leaving my office in 30 minutes with the cancer ablated and your thyroid gland is still whole. Also no scar or post op complications.
Even lobectomy usually results in the need to replace thyroid hormone.
RFA needs no thyroid hormone replacement.
A follow up FNA or cutting needle biopsy of the area is done to confirm the cancer is gone.
There is another non surgical method called active surveillance AS. This is not accepted by many patients as the small cancer is left intact in your neck and only follow up ultrasound is used. Many are unhappy with AS and grudgingly opt for surgery.
Thyroid RFA is sweeping the world and now the USA in treatment options for thyroid nodues and small low risk thyroid cancers.
If you have a small thyroid cancer and they only offer surgery or AS,
You need a second opinion on the possible use of thyroid RFA to treat your small cancer.
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Even a difficult small cancer in a location with the trachea and skin nearby can be treated with small electrode 3 mm hot tip and dextrose water injection to separate the trachea and lidocane for local on the thyroid capsule.
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