UAE – Healthcare win as Abu Dhabi has successfully conducted the thyroid radiofrequency and microwave ablation for the management of thyroid nodules at the Tawam Hospital.

The hospital announced in a release that the first patient treated at the facility using the novel procedure was a 75-year-old male patient, with a history of a large compressive benign thyroid nodule.

Thyroid nodules are one of the most common entities that affect the thyroid gland. These nodules frequently occur in the form of multinodular goiter and thyroid cystadenoma.

Traditionally, their treatment was surgery, and patients would inevitably end up having total or hemi thyroidectomy followed by life-long hormonal replacement therapy.

Thyroid ablative therapies include radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation (MWA), high-intensity focused ultrasound, laser ablation, and ethanol injection.

Thyroid radiofrequency and microwave ablation is a non-invasive procedure that uses friction heat to destroy tumor tissue. Overtime, the body absorbs the ablated tissue, which reduces the size of the nodule.

Tawam Hospital, part of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), underscored that thyroid radiofrequency and microwave ablation stands for an excellent option in the treatment of thyroid nodules due to safety and efficacy of the procedure.

Thyroid Radiofrequency and Microwave Ablation should be opted for patients at high surgical risk and thyroid compression symptoms,” the hospital advised.

The new, promising technique is best suited for patients exhibiting cosmesis, enlarging thyroid nodules with surgery ruled out, autonomously functioning thyroid nodules (AFTN), recurrent thyroid cancers, or those with high surgical risk.

The Al Ain-based facility outlined that its benefits include greater than 50 percent reduction in nodule size, and significant improvement in obstructive symptoms or cosmesis.

Commenting on the new medical service, Dr. Bachar Afandi, Chief of Endocrinology, at Tawam Hospital, said: “At SEHA, we are constantly in search of providing new breakthroughs for our patients that can help improve outcomes and quality of life.”

He expressed his conviction that the new treatment at Tawam Hospital will change the management of benign thyroid nodules as well as improve outcomes for a subset of patients with symptomatic, non-cancerous thyroid nodules.

Patients who undergo the procedure are extremely unlikely to require permanent thyroid hormone medication.” Dr. Afandi added.

Dr. Jamal AlKoteesh, Chairman of Clinical Imaging at Tawam Hospital, Head of Interventional Radiology Clinical Reference group at SEHA – Abu Dhabi, observed that there is tremendous potential for the emerging technology as a transformative new option for patients.

This procedure isn’t widely available yet outside major hospitals, and it won’t be appropriate for everyone, but it gives patients a reasonable alternative to surgery. It’s not as definitive as surgery, but it’s still very effective with minimal side effects,” Dr.  AlKoteesh said.

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