Dr. Volpi on Thyroid Ablation: Future of Cancer Treatment

Dr. Volpi on Thyroid Ablation: Future of Cancer Treatment

We recently had the unique opportunity to converse with esteemed Dr. Erivelto Volpi from Brazil at the Thyroid Ablation Conference held in Italy.


As an authority on thyroid treatments, he took the time to share his insights and valuable experience with us. Just a week before, we had caught up with him at the World Congress on Thyroid Cancer in London, and we were delighted to sit down with him again.

The conference presented a golden opportunity for specialists from around the globe to converge, exchange thoughts, and learn from the experts in the field. One area that stood out more than ever at this conference was the exploration of thyroid cancer treatment with ablation. Dr. Volpi explained, “it is a new field, and in selected patients, we can offer the opportunity to avoid surgery using thermal ablations technologies.”

Dr. Volpi emphasized that it is crucial to understand that ablation is indeed a viable option for treating thyroid cancer. However, patient selection plays an integral role in determining its effectiveness. “Usually, nodules up to one centimeter located inside the thyroid parenchyma are considered suitable cases. The results in terms of the treatment outcomes are exactly the same as those from a conventional surgery,” he noted.

Brazil has been at the forefront of using ablation as a treatment option for thyroid nodules for over a decade. As this methodology is now gaining momentum globally, including in the U.S. and countries like Indonesia, Dr. Volpi offers lessons from Brazil’s experience.

His key piece of advice for doctors new to this treatment method is to begin with benign and small-sized nodules. “When you start to do RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation), always start with benign nodules and not so huge nodules. For patients with cosmetic or symptomatic nodules, RFA is a very good option when starting your learning curve,” he advises. This strategy, he believes, will be beneficial not just for patients, but also for doctors who are beginning to learn this procedure.


About Dr. Erivelto Volpi

Dr. Erivelto Volpi é um Cirurgião de Cabeça e Pescoço, especialista em doenças da tireoide e da paratireoide.

Dr. Erivelto Volpi teve toda seu treinamento no Hospital das Clínicas da Universidade de São Paulo, onde permanceu por 30 anos, 4 anos como médico residente em Cirurgia Geral e Cirurgia de Cabeça e Pescoçoe 26 anos como médico do Serviço de Cirurgia de Cabeça e Pescoço, onde atuou no atendimento e cirurgias de pacientes e no  treinamento de médicos residentes e estagiários, além da formação de alunos de graduação e pós-graduação.

Sua tese de Doutorado em 2011 foi sobre segurança em cirurgia de tireoide, especificamente na monitorização neuro-fisiológica intra-operatória dos nervos laríngeos (responsáveis pela movimentação das cordas vocais).

Dr. Volpi sempre esteve interessado em tratamentos minimamente invasivos, sendo um dos pioneiros no Brasil na realização de Tireoidectomias Minimamente Invasivas (MIVAT), tendo feito seu treinamento na Universidade de Pisa com o Dr. Paolo Miccoli.

Sempre preocupado em oferecer o melhor aos seus pacientes, Dr. Volpi em 2018 realizou seu treinamento em Ablação por Radiofrequência em Seoul, na Coréia do Sul com o Prof. Baek, o desenvolvedor da técnica de Ablação por Radiofrequência (RFA).

Retornando ao país, foi um dos primeiros médicos a realizar o procedimento, deste então tem tratado pacientes de todo o Brasil e da América do Sul, além de ter uma das maiores experiências da América Latina neste tratamento, hoje Dr. Volpi é responsável por um curso de treinamento em RFA, tendo já treinado médicos do Brasil, América Latina e EUA. 

View Full Profile: Dr. Erivelto Volpi

About Philip James

In 2013, his laryngeal nerve was severed, shoulder nerve damaged, parathyroids ruined, and residual cancer left behind — all for a 1 cm thyroid nodule.
Later, a vocal cord implant was inserted to help him speak.

The word he uses to describe his work as patient advocate is, ‘tonglen’. Or, using his pain and hardship to help others.


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