RFA Patient Successfully Shrinks Her Benign Thyroid Nodule

Meet Catherine. In 2018, Catherine had a symptomatic nodule for which she came to see Dr. Melanie Goldfarb, Director, Center for Endocrine Disorders and Professor of Surgical Oncology at Saint John’s Health Center and Saint John’s Cancer Institute.

In the past, all we had to offer was surgery for benign thyroids.

-Melanie Goldfarb, MD

Previously, Catherine had treated her thyroid nodule with alcohol, which was both painful and did not help to shrink it’s size. As time progressed, Catherine’s nodule continued to grow, and up until last spring, it grew to 4 centimeters. In her video testimonial (below), Catherine indicated she preferred to wait for a non-surgical option, especially since it was non-cancerous.

Radiofrequency ablation for benign thyroids became available at Saint John’s Health Center in the fall of 2021 under Dr. Goldfarb’s leadership. In the spring of 2022, Catherine finally received RFA for the nodule she waited so long to treat. “She started with a 12cc volume nodule, and at just 1 month post procedure, the nodule had shrunk by 43% of it’s volume to 5cc,” according to Dr. Goldfarb.

Catherine’s nodule should continue to shrink with time. Her next appointment is in 6 months and will determine her tumor’s overall reduction.

Radiofrequency Ablation for Benign Nodules: Narrated by Catherine

 Outside the Saint Johns Health Center in the rose garden, Catherine shares her experience with Saint Johns Cancer Institute.

What is Radiofrequency Ablation for Benign Thyroids?

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a non-surgical, minimally invasive treatment option that delivers high-frequency energy to the thyroid nodule which causes it to shrink in size over time. RFA is an outpatient procedure. Learn More.

 It was not painful, and it seems to have worked.

– Catherine

Who Should Get RFA?

“People who will want this treatment typically will have, an unsightly nodule on their throat, problems coughing, trouble breathing at night, or a chronic cough. It is a minimally invasive procedure where you are in and out the same day,” according to Melanie Goldfarb, MD. Learn more.

Even though benign tumors are not cancerous, they can be dangerous and should be removed.

Saint John’s Health Center is one of the only centers offering RFA in the south/southwest. “We have teams of experts at the clinic with immense skills and expertise to treat multiple diseases and conditions,” Dr. Goldfarb iterates.

Why Melanie Goldfarb, MD?

The benefits of having Dr. Goldfarb treat you is in her expertise to treat multiple conditions surgically, and non-surgically. She treats thyroid nodules, thyroid cancer, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, adrenal masses, pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, Cushing’s syndrome, adrenal cancer, osteoporosis, bone disorders, MEN inherited endocrine syndromes, and she treats children and young adults with thyroid nodules and cancer.

Don’t Panic. Just come and talk to Doctor Goldfarb.


To inquire with the Endocrine Center of Excellence, click here to send a message.

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Saint John’s Cancer Institute’s Marketing & Media Development

About the Author

Eleanor Zeri