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International Scientific Indexing (ISI) Indexed Journal Applied Medical Research ISSN: 2149 - 2018
Applied Medical Research. 2021; 8(2):(115-159)

Radiofrequency Ablation of Benign Thyroid Nodules: Initial Review with Clinical Experience in Singapore

Karan Daga, Kanika Daga, Stephen Teck Soong Lee and Manish Taneja

Introduction: Up to half of the population may have benign thyroid nodules, and currently surgery is still the mainstay for treatment. However, minimally invasive approaches such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) have been emerging in clinical practice in recent years. The purpose of this study is to investigate the safety and efficacy of RFA in treating benign thyroid nodules in our local population in Singapore. Methods: This retrospective study included a cohort of 22 patients (17 female, 5 male), who underwent RFA for benign thyroid nodules at our institute in Singapore, between March 2016 and May 2018. Initial assessment was carried out by ultrasound scanning, to measure pre-RFA nodule diameters, and fineneedle aspiration cytology, to confirm the nodules are histologically benign. Final nodule diameters and post-procedural complications were recorded at 12-months follow-up for all patients. The primary outcome was to investigate a reduction in nodule size, post RFA. The secondary outcome was to investigate any complications/adverse effects up to 12 months post-RFA. Results: The median nodule diameter reduced from 2.75cm (range: 1.8-7.9cm) pre-RFA, to 1.50cm (range: 0.00 - 1.68cm; p=0.002) post-RFA. No major complications were encountered, however there was one instance of minor post-operative bleeding. There was no regrowth of ablated nodules, no permanent voice changes and no patients were hospitalised post-RFA. Conclusions: RFA is shown to have substantial efficacy and is associated with fewer post-operative complications than conventional surgical approaches. RFA a promising alternative to surgery, although more research is needed.