The Dangers of Thyroid Ablation and its Rapid Adoption

The Dangers of Thyroid Ablation and its Rapid Adoption

As the medical community swiftly embraces thyroid ablation, a groundbreaking non-surgical treatment for thyroid nodules, concerns arise about the potential risks associated with its rapid adoption. Key among these concerns is the lack of ultrasound expertise among practitioners and the contentious decision to treat nodules that may be too small to warrant intervention. This article delves into the insights of Dr. Jagdish Dhingra, a seasoned thyroid surgeon, who highlights the crucial balance between leveraging medical innovations and ensuring patient safety through skilled application and judicious treatment decisions.

In the rapidly evolving field of medical treatments, thyroid ablation stands out as a significant advancement, offering a non-surgical option for patients with thyroid nodules. However, the quick adoption of this technique across the United States has raised concerns among experts about its application and the potential risks involved. In a recent interview on the RFAMD podcast, hosted by Philip James, Dr. Jagdish Dhingra, a seasoned thyroid surgeon with over 25 years of experience, shared his insights on the dangers of the rapid embrace of thyroid ablation and the critical importance of skilled ultrasound technique in its success.

Goodwill missions to Africa

Dr. Dhingra, known for his extensive work and goodwill missions in Africa, particularly Rwanda, where he volunteers to perform surgeries on women affected by large goiters, emphasizes the need for caution. His annual trips to Africa highlight his commitment to addressing thyroid-related conditions and his expertise in managing complex cases.

Goiter in Colombia

The conversation also touched upon the impressive work of Dr. Juan Pablo Due帽as in Medell铆n, Colombia, who successfully treated a patient with a very large goiter using ablation. This case exemplifies the potential of thyroid ablation when applied correctly and with the requisite skill.

Dangers of thyroid ablation and ultrasound

However, Dr. Dhingra pointed out the significant risks associated with the procedure, especially when used for nodules that are too small or by practitioners lacking in precise ultrasound-guided techniques. He warned against the treatment of small, benign thyroid nodules with ablation, arguing that observation rather than intervention is often the best approach in such cases. The risks, including major vessel and nerve injury, are heightened in the absence of expertise in ultrasound guidance.

The expertise required for safe and effective thyroid ablation extends beyond surgical skills, involving proficiency in ultrasound to avoid damaging vital neck structures. This underscores the importance of comprehensive training and experience in both ultrasound and surgery for those performing thyroid ablations.

Thyroid ablation guidelines

As thyroid ablation gains popularity, Dr. Dhingra advocates for establishing and adhering to strict guidelines to ensure patient safety. These guidelines would ideally include rigorous training and qualification criteria for practitioners, akin to the well-defined protocols followed in countries like South Korea, which has successfully integrated thyroid ablation into their healthcare system.

How to find a thyroid ablation doctor?

For patients considering thyroid ablation, finding a qualified and experienced practitioner is crucial. Dr. Dhingra suggests visiting, a resource that can help patients connect with skilled ablation doctors. This platform provides an avenue for patients to seek treatment from professionals who are not only proficient in ultrasound-guided procedures but also have a thorough understanding of when ablation is appropriate.

The rapid adoption of thyroid ablation in the United States represents a double-edged sword; it’s a promising treatment that can significantly benefit patients when applied judiciously and with the proper expertise. However, without careful consideration of the risks and strict adherence to guidelines, its potential benefits could be overshadowed by adverse outcomes. As the medical community continues to embrace this innovative treatment, the emphasis must remain on patient safety, thorough practitioner training, and the judicious application of thyroid ablation.



About Philip James

As the host of the popular RFAMD and Doctor Thyroid podcasts, Philip James remains committed to sharing inspiring stories, valuable insights, and groundbreaking discoveries in the world of healthcare, making a positive impact on the lives of countless listeners.

Philip’s thought-provoking interviews have covered a wide range of healthcare topics, from cutting-edge technologies and surgical advancements to patient experiences and the impact of medical research on society.


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