RFA therapy for thyroid problems

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dr. Rochsismandoko, Sp.PD, KEMD, FINASIM, FACE
dr. Rochsismandoko, Sp.PD, KEMD, FINASIM, FACE. Photo: PRIV. DOC

IO – Over the years, many people misinterpret moist hands, nervousness and shaking, anxiety, palpitating heart, and excess sweating as symptoms of heart problems. However, dr. Rochsismandoko, Sp.PD, KEMD, FINASIM, FACE, staff doctor at the Bethsaida Hospital Gading Serpong’s Diabetic, Endocrine, Metabolic and Thyroid Center, stated in a webinar themed “RFA, Modern Solution for Thyroid Resolution” held on Thursday (27/01/2022) that these may also be symptoms for a thyroid condition. 

The thyroid gland, which produces thyroid hormones, is a tiny organ located in the front of the neck, wrapped around our tracheas. It looks vaguely like a butterfly, with a tiny sticklike part (the isthmus) in the center and two “wings” (the lobes) on each side, wrapping around the left and right of the trachea. “You suffer from hyperthyroid if your body produces excessive thyroid hormones, or from hypothyroid if your thyroid hormone production is insufficient. Hyperthyroid sufferers tend to be hyperactive, while hypothyroid sufferers tend to be extremely slow. No matter how much they eat, hyperthyroid sufferers will remain skinny. Again, a symptom similar to having worms,” the doctor said. 

Causes Emotional Psychological and Distress 

You can recognize symptoms of hyperthyroidism from abnormal changes to the skin color, nail color, or swelling in the eyes. Hypothyroidism symptoms include a swelling at the side of the neck, the result of imbalanced thyroid hormone production. This swelling is usually accompanied by a sense of easily getting tired, increased weight, lower ability to withstand cold, and difficulty of swallowing. Even though most swellings are benign in nature and do not require much treatment, patients need to get themselves treated as soon as possible – especially if there is pressure and restriction on breathing, and/or if an ugly-looking swelling causes emotional psychological and distress to the sufferer. 

“We have currently developed minimally invasive, non-surgical procedures to eliminate benign swelling in the thyroid gland, such as Percutaneous Ethanol Injection Ablation (PEIA), Percutaneous Laser Ablation (PLA), and Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA). PEIA is used to eliminate liquid-filled thyroid cysts, while PLA and RFA are used to get rid of solid swellings. Using the RFA procedure on benign thyroid tumors will reduce swelling by 47.7% to 96.9%,” he said. 

RFA therapy does not require any cutting. It only uses local anesthetics, which is much safer and will make patients feel more comfortable. Furthermore, preparations for this procedure are also much simpler. The procedure takes about only one hour, with a post-procedure observation period of 10-12 hours. Possible side effects include pain and/or mild swelling on the neck, which will heal by itself without further medication. But there’s one thing that dr. Rochsismandoko urges for everyone with thyroid problems, whether hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism: they all should stop smoking. (est)