Interventional Endocrine/Thyroidologists 2017: WE are Not Radiologists
Are You a Candidate for Outpatient RFA instead of Hospitalization and Major Thyroid Surgery for a Benign Thyroid Nodule?
A nodular goiter that shows progressive enlargement, and has been biopsied several times and was felt to be benign can be considered for RFA therapy. An enlarging goiter nodule that causes local symptoms or causes a cosmetic problem is the usual clinical situation that RFA can be an alternative minimally invasive procedure to formal major surgery. The usual recommendation by your primary care, endocrinologist or surgeon is to remove it. A recent patient’s bill for a one day hospitalization for a thyroidectomy was $64,000 at a major medical center in Los Angeles… The cost for an outpatient RFA would have been < 1/10th of the inpatient fee.
RFA can treat biopsy proven benign complex cystic/solid nodule with >50% solid component. If there is > 50% cyst component ethanol ablation is effective alone or in combination with RFA after the cyst component has been treated with ethanol.
RFA can also ablate nodal neck metastasis from papillary and medullary thyroid cancer. Cystic neck papillary cancer lymph nodes can be ablated with ethanol. Solid cancer nodes can be ablated with RFA or ethanol. Each ablation replaces one hospitalization for a second or third modified neck dissection at a savings of $45,000. (Data from Dr. Ian Hays’ Mayo Clinic study of Ethanol ablation costs compared to surgery)
After an evaluation to see if your nodule fits the criteria for RFA in my center, you can have a one day visit to an RFA center in Europe to have the nodule ablated and return home the next day. Call Matt at 310-393-8860 for details.
Richard Guttler MD,FACE,ECNU