RFA: Radiofrequency Thyroid Ablation 101: How It Works
Ionic agitation and formation of friction heat:
Thyroid Nodule tissue is agitated by application of alternating electric current. Ionic agitation results in ion friction, which in turn causes heat production inside the targeted benign thyroid nodule or cancer lymph node.
Heat propagation through targeted thyroid nodule:
Immediate thyroid tissue coagulation necrosis is achieved by friction heat generated near the electrode. Slower thyroid nodule ablation remote from the electrode is caused by conductive heat. Friction heat is more powerful but has a limited range around the electrode compared to conductive heat.
Comment: This sounds very scary putting electricity through your body, but it is safe as the grounding pads used on your legs remove the electricity. Newer bipolar probes do not need grounding pads as the electrode does the job of grounding pads.
All endocrinologists doing their own FNAs can learn RFA and ethanol ablation ahead of the introduction of RFA to the USA from Korea. Call Matt at 310-393-8860 for details about our Master’s Class to interventional thyroid ablation.
Richard Guttler MD,FACE,ECNU