Thyroid RFA 101: Patient Alert: What Your Primary Care,Endocrinologist, or Surgeon Won’t Tell You About Alternatives to Thyroid Surgery Now.
Comments by Dr.Richard Guttler
- Thousands of patients in Europe, Asia, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Latvia, China, Korea, Japan, have been saved for thyroid surgery for benign thyroid nodules, recurrent thyroid cancer in lymph nodes of the neck and even primary micro-papillary thyroid cancers by the use of radiofrequency ablation RFA,High Intensity focused ultrasound HIFU, and ethanol ablation PEI.
- Little Country like Latvia has RFA and ethanol ablation available for people.
- Every thyroid surgery avoided saves the patient the pain and suffering of a major hospital admission, complications, and costs to the society of $35,000-50,000 per surgery. There is no post up recovery time, loss of work, and no scar, or thyroid hormone treatment for life.
- How do you find these alternatives? They are well represented on the web. Do your homework and you will find that ethanol PEI is available now in the USA since 2000, but few physicians will refer you to a specialist that has experience in doing PEI for benign mixed cystic nodules, parathyroid cysts, and those recurrent thyroid cancer neck lymph nodes that will cause you to be sent back to the surgeon for another $50,000 neck dissection. There are a few centers doing PEI now and if you call my thyroid manager Matt at 310-393-8860, or email at [email protected] he can give you details on the procedure and the costs.
- RFA is a proven safe alternative to surgery for solid and cystic nodules, thyroid cancer lymph node recurrence, and even micro-papillary cancer and is a first line primary treatment to patients in many countries EXCEPT the USA and Canada.
- The greatest country in the world is the one still clinging to surgery as the only treatment for benign thyroid nodules and some thyroid cancers. Ask yourself why?
- The medical industrial complex in the USA has ignored thyroid disease alternatives and continues to fill hospitals with patients that have thyroid diseases that can be treated in the rest of the world as outpatients.
- Who are the responsible parties?
- Number one is the pressure on primary care physicians to fill their local hospital with patients that generate the most income. Thyroid surgery has been the mainstay for years in helping the hospital bottom line.
- Referral out to an ablation center rather than surgery is bad for hospital bottom line.
- It is not good to have low volume surgeons with high complication rates causing harm to patients that should have been treated with low complication ablation procedures.
- Medical Device Companies are also to blame. They have repeatedly refused to consider doing research in the use of their RFA systems to modify them to fit the small delicate neck space where the thyroid resides. One major company head of research and velopment, refused to fund my study on thyroid nodule RFA with this comment. ” there is no more to know about RFA and we are moving on the study microwave ablation systems”. They also stopped FDA application for a mini-thyroid electrode of #18 gauge.
- What can you do now if you are told you need surgery for a large benign nodule, recurrent thyroid cancer lymph nodes, or micro-papillary thyroid cancer?
- PEI is available in my center and others in the USA now!
- RFA is available by referral to the physician that was the first and still the leader in RFA treatment and continued research. Dr.JH Baek in Seoul Korea. I refer my patients willing to travel for a 2-3 day visit to Seoul for RFA treatment after my evaluation to confirm they are a candidate. Similar arrangements with another world expert in ablation methods is Roberto Valcavi in Italy.
- Some patients with smaller nodules who want them ablated but don’t want surgery can be referred to HIFU centers inFrance, Germany, Italy, Turkey, China, or Japan.
- Patients today must be aggressive in their search to find first line treatment options even if you need to fly to other countries. This is a sad commentary to the state of medicine in the USA that only things that matters is the bottom line of Hospitals and Medical Device companies, and not the safe proven alternative out=patient ablation procedures used in the rest of the world.
- Everything you need to start your search for alternative to surgery that has been the treatment of choice for a hundred years but now is not not for benign conditions and mild thyroid cancers is www.thyroidnosurgery.com.