What is a thyroid nodule?
The thyroid is a tiny, butterfly-shaped organ with great effects. It is the driver and clock of our body and produces hormones that regulate the metabolism and energy balance. If the thyroid itself is out of sync, it can affect all processes in the body. Sometimes the gland tissue develops thyroid nodules. In about 30 percent of adults, these nodular tissue changes occur, in people over 65 years, the proportion even rises to more than 50 percent. In addition to older patients, women are particularly often affected. They develop a node four times more often than men. Thyroid nodules are almost always benign, with only about five percent of nodules being malignant.
Echotherapy treats benign thyroid nodules with ultrasound only. To use ultrasound for therapy multiple intersecting beams of ultrasound are concentrated on a target area. The resulting focused ultrasound beam is highly energetic and generates a temperature rise at the focus point. This technology resembles the use of a magnifying glass when beams of sunlight are focused to generate heat. A single beam is not causing any harm to the surrounding tissue and can pass the skin easily. Only at the focal point where all ultrasound beam comes together the desired therapeutic effect takes place.
By generating heat in the target area cells are destroyed and subsequently broken down and removed through regular biological processes. This causes a significant volume reduction in the first months after therapy and relief of symptoms like pressure on the trachea or swallowing difficulties. Studies have shown average volume reductions of more than 60% only 6 months past therapy.
Echotherapy for thryoid nodules
Prior to treatment the physician will confirm the diagnosis using various diagnostic tools which may include visual ultrasound, scintigraphy, blood tests and biopsy. Diagnostic is important to classify the nodule type (hot, cold or neutral, see more here) and rule out malignancy. Once test results have confirmed your eligibility for echotherapy the treatment session can be scheduled. At the treatment day the physician will conduct a final check by making the ultrasound before starting therapy. For the treatment there is an initial planning phase in which the physician decides upon the exact parts he wants to treat to get ideal results. Your physician may decide to give you some medication to reduce anxiety and pain.Contact us
Echotherapy for thyroid nodules
The treatment itself consists of a pulse and pause scheme: A pulse of therapeutic ultrasound is delivered for a few seconds followed by a several seconds long pause in which the skin gets to rest and cool down a bit. Pulses are provided until the complete target area is treated as planned initially. At the end of the treatment which usually takes 20 – 60 minutes, the physician will make a final check with visual ultrasound. Because there is no incision, there is also no need for plasters or bandages.
If you would like to receive further information about centers close to you which over echotherapy for the treatment of thyroid nodules have a look at our center map or reach out to us through our contact form.