UW radiologist offers new procedure to treat benign thyroid nodules

Evan Johnson, M.D.

Evan Johnson, M.D., assistant professor of radiology and medical director of interventional radiology at Fred Hutchinson Care Center, started performing thyroid radiofrequency ablation (RFA) to treat benign thyroid nodules, making UW Medical Center the only center in the region to offer this treatment. 

RFA is a minimally invasive treatment option used for the treatment of benign thyroid nodules which may be causing symptoms such as tracheal and esophageal compression (choking or feeling something is caught in the throat), as well as for cosmetic reasons. RFA involves applying heat in a relatively small area to decrease the size of the nodule and is an alternative to surgery for some patients with thyroid nodules.   

“These procedures are tremendously gratifying. We have the opportunity to make a difference in a patient’s comfort and confidence in a relatively immediate fashion,” Dr. Johnson said. 

This relatively new outpatient procedure has a lower complication rate and quicker recovery than surgical thyroidectomy most patients who undergo the procedure feel that it is easier than a biopsy of the thyroid gland, Dr. Johnson said. 

“As with any relatively new procedure, I am just excited to get the word about this therapy out into the world and let our patients and referrers know we are offering it,” Dr. Johnson said. 

To learn more about thyroid radiofrequency ablation, visit Mayo Clinic.

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