Radioiodine ablation of thyroid tissue

Radioiodine Ablation of Thyroid Tissue

Radioiodine ablation of thyroid tissue is a medical procedure that destroys thyroid tissue by using radioactive iodine. It is used when a patient has thyroid cancer, benign or large goiter, or Graves’ disease. The focused destruction of thyroid tissue helps regulate hormones, avoid risk of cancer recurrence, and improve overall health of the patient.

The procedure begins with an iodine uptake test, where the patient swallows a liquid or capsule containing radioactive iodine so it can be tracked as it moves through the thyroid gland. Then doctors use a low-level radiation dosimeter to measure the amount of radioactivity in the thyroid tissue. As the level of radioactivity increases, thyroid tissue is destroyed or ablated.

Benefits of Radioiodine Ablation:

  • It can eliminate the need for thyroidectomy or thyroid hormone replacement
  • It helps reduce the risk of recurrence of cancer
  • It is non-invasive and can be done in an outpatient setting
  • It helps restore thyroid function back to normal levels

Risks Associated with Treatment:

  • There is a slight risk of spreading cancer outside the thyroid gland, although it is rare
  • Periodic monitoring is needed after treatment to ensure that radioiodine is not causing side effects
  • The radioactivity may cause a temporary increase in thyroid hormone levels, leading to hyperthyroidism
  • The radiation dose can cause side effects such as nausea, vomiting, and hair loss

Overall, radioiodine ablation of thyroid tissue is a safe and effective treatment for thyroid cancer, large goiters, and Graves’ disease. However, it is important to talk with your doctor before starting the procedure to ensure it is the right treatment option for you.