Ethanol ablation of cystic thyroid nodules
Depending on their location in the neck and their anatomical relationship to the trachea or esophagus, cystic nodules cause many patients spontaneous discomfort or discomfort during swallowing or just an unpleasant sensation when moving the head, for example. They do not have to be large to cause discomfort. In most cases, doctors try to empty the cyst, but in about 80% of cases the cyst fills up again sooner or later.
With a new technique called “alcohol ablation”, after emptying the cyst and rinsing it with medical alcohol, the cyst is “obliterated”. In the process, the inner layers of the cyst wall are roughened by the alcohol, allowing them to stick together and coalesce. In many cases, there is then a slow regression of these “cyst tubes” – depending on whether a simple cyst or a cystic nodule was present. This type of treatment usually requires local anesthesia, is done with a single small puncture, and is described by patients as “harmless.” In the long term, this method has a success rate of at least 65%, well above the approximately 10-20% achieved with normal cyst puncture techniques. In the most stubborn cases, RFA can be offered, which has a 100% success rate in such cases.