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Percutaneous ablation and embolization of thyroid nodules.

Thyroid nodules

Thyroid nodules are very common in the community; They can be detected in about half of the individuals over 60 years old. An average of 5% of thyroid nodules are thought to be cancer and 95% are benign. Benign and malignant nodules can easily be distinguished by fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). The ideal treatment for malignant (cancer) nodules is still surgery, although percutaneous ablation may be a good alternative in some cases. However, in most of the benign nodules, surgery is not necessary; these nodules can be successfully treated with ablation methods such as radiofrequency, laser and microwave.

In many patients, nodules are numerous and continue to grow despite oral medications. This thyroid enlargement, called goiters, sometimes extends into the thoracic cavity and can cause shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing and hoarseness by pressing on the vocal cords nerves. In such patients, ablation can be tried, but since the thyroid gland is too large and the nodules are nemerous, it is not a very good option. In such patients, the feeding vessels of the goiter can be blocked by angiography. This method, which is called embolization are performed under local anesthesia and is very comfortable for the patient. After embolization, the goiter mass becomes smaller, but normal thyroid continues to maintain its vitality. Therefore, hypothyroidism usually does not develop and the patient does not need to take any medication for life.

For more information about thyroid nodules, goitre and non-surgical treatment methods, please click here

Interventional oncology in cancer management

Prof Saim Yilmaz, MD

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