Cleveland Clinic Creates New Program for Minimally Invasive Treatment of Thyroid Nodules

First case was successfully treated with thyroid nodule radiofrequency ablation

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Caroline Auger 216.296.6012

Cleveland Clinic is the first hospital in Ohio to announce its use of radiofrequency ablation technology to treat benign thyroid nodules that can cause troublesome symptoms, such as neck pain or pressure, difficulty swallowing or breathing. The minimally invasive procedure was used to successfully treat the first patient at Cleveland Clinic Marymount Hospital in April.

Eren Berber, M.D., endocrine surgeon with Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology and Metabolism Institute, and vice chair of the Department of Endocrine Surgery, led the team that successfully treated the patient.

Eren Berber, M.D.

“Most thyroid nodules, which are abnormal growths of thyroid tissue, are removed surgically. In selected patients, radiofrequency ablation technology provides an alternative option to remove large thyroid nodules that are benign but can cause symptoms,” said Dr. Berber.

The procedure involves putting a special needle into the thyroid nodule under ultrasound guidance and running energy to create heat that can treat and shrink the nodule. The procedure can be performed with local anesthesia in a surgical setting. After the procedure, the endocrine team monitors the nodule every three to six months with ultrasound.

At this time, this minimally invasive procedure is offered to selected patients with benign thyroid nodules – not with thyroid cancer.

According to the Endocrine Society, thyroid nodules are very common. Most thyroid nodules are benign, but they can progressively grow and lead to cosmetic concerns, or cause symptoms, including difficulty swallowing or breathing, neck pressure and pain.

The thyroid nodule radiofrequency ablation procedure requires experience with thyroid ultrasound, thyroid biopsies, and ablation technology. Cleveland Clinic’s endocrine surgeons do their own ultrasounds, perform biopsies and have a high-volume of ablation surgeries for other organs, such as the liver and the adrenal glands. Cleveland Clinic was the first hospital in the world to use a latest ablation technology to destroy large liver tumors.

For more information about thyroid nodules, including available treatments, please visit Cleveland Clinic’s Thyroid Center.

 

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Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 72,500 employees worldwide are more than 5,050 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,800 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 21 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2021, there were 10.2 million total outpatient visits, 304,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 259,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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