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Thyroid Nodules

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Thyroid Nodule is very common and many diseases like benign tumor, thyroiditis and thyroid cancer etc. are the reason. It is developed more among the women. In the case of middle age women, tuber can be found by touch in about 5% of patient and rate goes up to 50~60% with thyroid imaging with ultrasound.
Thyroid Nodule itself is not big of problem when it is benign tumor since it rarely develops symptoms itself. But about 5% of thyroid nodule is thyroid cancer so if tumor is founded, diagnosis of weather or not it is cancer is must. Surgical operation is necessary when it is diagnosed as thyroid cancer, and no need of operation in the case of benign tumor in most of cases. Thyroid nodule is tuber created by part of thyroid get enlarged abnormally. So, thyroid nodule is not the name of diagnosis but it is one of symptoms that appears due to many thyroid diseases and the cause of it can be benign tumor and chronic thyroiditis etc.

When size of thyroid nodule reaches about 0.5~1 cm, it is possible to examine by the hand of experienced doctors and patient can touch themselves when it grow to be larger size. When size gets even larger, it can be seen from outside that is bulged out and commonly, movement of up and down can be seen when swallow saliva. When the size of thyroid nodule is too big, it can press surrounding tissue to create uncomfortable food swallowing, causes coughing and uncomfortable breathing etc but those is rare cases and usually it created problem only for the beauty of appearance. There are only within 2% of chance of cancer with tuber less than 1 cm that can be found only through ultrasound exam and it almost never creates any problems. The most important thing to do when thyroid nodule is found is to confirm that weather or not it is cancer. About 5% of tuber that can be touched is thyroid cancer. There are no symptoms of thyroid cancer in most of cases.
Generally, the tuber of thyroid cancer is very hard and does not move when touched since it is adhered with surrounding tissue, speed of growth is fast and hoarsen due to invasion to surrounding nerves or lymph node around tuber can get larger. All these symptoms indicate possibilities of thyroid cancer but, there are thyroid cancers without any of those symptoms so accurate diagnosis through exam is necessary.
In most of cases, thyroid nodule doesn’t accompanying symptoms but rarely, it induces hyperthyroidism. At this point, all the symptoms of hyperthyroidism will be appears. Thyroid nodule is found in women more frequently. Normally, it is found in female 4-5 times more than in male and the reason of it is still not clear.


Even with confirmation of benign through fine needle aspiration cytology on thyroid nodule, positive immediate treatment is not necessary. Sometimes, thyroid hormone is injected depends on the doctors. When the size of nodule is big and suppress surrounding, nodule is removed by surgical resection. It is the most secure treatment but, in most of cases, it doesn’t create big enough problems that require surgeries. When it is cystic thyroid nodule, sometimes liquid is extracted with syringe and treatment of injecting matters like alcohol is practiced when it relapse.

When thyroid nodule is distinguished as benign, operation is given for the tuber size of over 3 cm and medicine treatment is given for the ones less than 3 cm with observation in 6 month terms but the effects of it is unclear. Therefore, there are no special treating methods for small sized benign nodule.

But lately, radiofrequency ablation system that is being used for liver cancer, uterine fibroid and lung cancer etc. is applied to thyroid benign nodule and exhibits excellent treatment effects.
Radiofrequency ablation is inserting RF electrode to center part of tumor and create radiofrequency by RF generator and burn to eliminate tumors using radiofrequency heat. The advantages of thyroid radiofrequency ablation (RF ablation) are

1. Treat thyroid nodule without scars or surgical operation.
2. Unlike operation, there is no side effect.
3. One day of hospitalization is enough. (Generally, operation requires 5-7days)
4. Treat with local anesthesia.
5. In most of cases, procedure is done with just 1 treatment.
6. Less pain and fast recovery compares to operation.