Thyroid Radiofrequency Ablation in the USA: No Ready for Prime Time.
- Clinical trials and treatment of 5000 patients in Italy and Korea have shown low complication rate and up to 80% average shrinkage of benign thyroid nodules.
- There are no clinical trial results in the USA.
- Only a few patients have been treated by RFA.
- Mayo clinic treated 15 with a large probe RFA system.
- Korean small probe systems have only been used less than 10.
- There is no center in the US that has the experience or expertise to do thyroid RFA at present.
- The Mayo clinic IR group stated in a recent article that ” In centers with appropriate expertise this technique could become an alternative for the management of benign large toxic and non-toxic thyroid nodules.”
- More studies done in the USA are needed before thyroid RFA can be an alternative to surgery.
- The patient must be aware that just a 3-5 day course in thyroid RFA does not make the physician an expert operator.
- With the help of the Radiology and endocrine societies proper studies and training programs can begin to have experienced operators enter the field and treat patients with low complications and good results.
- Until that time be aware that there will be some operators with minimal training offering thyroid RFA in the USA before adequate local studies are available. Local endocrinologist seen below has returned from the 3-4 day RFA course in Korea, and promptly began treating patients in Utah.
- Until that time I will continue to train endocrinologists in ethanol and RFA in a one on one basis until AACE offers certification courses and workshops.
- Also I will still send my patients to Italy or Korea where the expert operators with vast personal experience are located.
- For details call 31–393-8860 or firstname.lastname@example.org