If anyone is looking for a less invasive treatment for thyroid nodules instead of a thyroidectomy, I can share an excellent alternative.
I had a thyroid nodule that put pressure on my trachea, causing coughing, difficulty swallowing and pain. My first endocrinologist immediately recommended thyroid removal surgery, despite blood tests showing normal levels, and ultrasound confirming the nodule was benign. I didn’t get it; if the thyroid worked well, why remove the whole gland? Why not just remove the nodule?
I searched for non-surgical treatments, learned that a more targeted approach, Radiofrequency Ablation, could reduce my thyroid nodule. RF is a non-surgical alternative for thyroid nodules, well known in Asia and Europe, but not in the US. In Southern California, UCLA Gonda Diabetes Center seemed to have the most advanced and experienced endocrinology team, so I was hopeful I could reduce the nodule as opposed to cutting out my thyroid.
I was pleased with my second opinion at UCLA, specifically Dr. David Geffner (Endocrinology), and Dr. David K Lu (Radiology). They were respectful of my search for an alternative, fully informed, and the option they recommended was the right, conservative next step for me. The procedure was very successful. The pain was minimal, results were immediate - no sign of a nodule now - and my thyroid is still there! It was perfect for me as I never understood why thyroid removal would be a first step in my case, as my previous endocrinologist had recommended.
I've been very impressed with my care under my new endocrinologist and pleased with his referral for my targeted nodule treatment. I had the highest quality care, the most advanced expertise and skill, a sophisticated imaging facility and an excellent support team.
When I was searching for alternatives, reading blog posts led me to RF Ablation and UCLA, so I hope my experience may help someone. Best wishes and good health.