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Excellent Treatment Options for Thyroid Nodules

Excellent Treatment Options for Thyroid Nodules

It might surprise you to learn that, by age 60, about half of people will have a thyroid nodule. The growths are benign in 90% of these cases, and most don’t cause symptoms.

If you’re reading this, however, you may have thyroid nodules that are causing symptoms and you’re exploring treatment options. You’ve come to the right place.

Dr. Sean P. Nikravan is a board-certified endocrinologist who specializes in thyroid diseases. In this blog post, we explore the excellent treatment options available for thyroid nodules so you have some idea about what might be in your future.

Thyroid nodule basics

As we mentioned, thyroid nodules are common and most people are unaware of their existence because they don't always cause symptoms. These mostly benign growths occur in four times as many women as men, for reasons not fully understood yet.

When thyroid nodules do lead to symptoms, it’s typically due to one of two things:

  1. The nodule has grown in size and is causing compressive symptoms in your throat, such as hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.
  2. The nodule is active, or toxic, which means it’s producing additional thyroid hormones; this can lead to hyperthyroidism. 

In either case, seeking our help for diagnosis and treatment is important when it comes to symptomatic thyroid nodules.

Making sure the thyroid nodule is benign

If you have a thyroid nodule that’s causing symptoms, we first want to check to make sure the growth is benign. Rest assured, this step is mostly precautionary as thyroid cancer is only present in less than 6.5% of nodules.

Dr. Nikravan offers thyroid nodule biopsy services, during which he uses ultrasound guidance to collect a tiny piece of tissue from the nodule. From there, he examines the biopsied tissue under a high-powered microscope to look for any abnormal or cancerous cells.

Treating your thyroid nodule

Assuming the biopsy results indicate that your thyroid nodule is benign, we can get started on resolving your symptoms. 

If you have a nodule that's producing thyroid hormones, leading to hyperthyroidism, we can prescribe medications to block the thyroid hormones, which should clear up your symptoms.

An even better solution for both toxic and compressive nodules is thyroid radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which has become the gold standard in eliminating these growths.

During this minimally invasive procedure, Dr. Nikravan threads an electrode into the nodule using ultrasound guidance. Once in position, he releases RF energy that heats up and destroys the target tissue. This technology is highly accurate, so Dr. Nikravan removes what’s necessary while keeping collateral tissue damage to a minimum. 

Better still, Dr. Nikravan performs the thyroid RFA procedure on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to return home afterward. After your thyroid RFA with us, your symptoms should clear up quickly.

If you want to figure out what your next steps are for your thyroid nodule, we invite you to contact our office in Newport Beach, California, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nikravan. You can also request an appointment online.

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