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  • Writer's pictureDr. Richard Harding

Advantages of Radiofrequency Ablation of Thyroid Nodules

Updated: Aug 17, 2023


  • RFA is relatively painless

  • RFA does not require general anesthesia.

  • RFA is a non-surgical alternative to thyroidectomy and radio-iodine ablation.

  • Increased likelihood of preservation of thyroid function.

  • Fewer complications than surgery

  • Much shorter recovery time with rapid return to normal activities.

  • No surgical incision.

  • Radiofrequency ablation minimizes the risk of permanent damage to the vocal cord nerve or to the parathyroid glands.

  • Radiofrequency ablation does not cause any scarring to the external neck. In most cases, one puncture of the skin is sufficient to treat the entire thyroid gland

Because it is minimally invasive and does not require general anesthesia, you avoid the internal and external scarring of traditional thyroid surgery, and the associated risks of anesthesia.

Pre-procedural symptoms with difficulty swallowing, feelings of pressure or tightness of the throat, or even the bulky appearance of the nodule are significantly decreased or no longer detectable.


The procedure is so gentle that most people have little to no discomfort. This is because the thyroid nodule itself is not sensitive to pain. Other than the initial injection of numbing medication, the only remaining sensation is generally pressure and of increased heat in the neck area. Intermittent episodes of discomfort can be treated with additional doses of pain medication or adjustment of the probe tip.


The procedure itself takes less than an hour, the entire process may take 2-3 hours. You should be able to return to most of your regular daily activities almost immediately. Radiofrequency thyroid ablation will not affect your energy or strength.

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