The administration of anesthetic in the thyroid pericapsular region increases the possibility of side effects during percutaneous laser photocoagulation of thyroid nodules


  • Conflict of Interest Disclosures: All authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.


Background and Objective

Nodular thyroid disease is very frequent in iodine-deficient areas affecting at least 50% of the population. Percutaneous laser ablation (LA) represents an effective method and an alternative to conventional surgery. Since the first description of the LA methodology for thyroid nodules, various studies have suggested some modifications to increase the percentage of volume reduction of the nodules. One of these alternatives involves the injection of anesthetic in the pericapsular thyroid space with detachment of the capsule itself from the surrounding tissue. The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate whether using local anesthetic during LA is more effective in reducing volume size of treated nodules, and whether it causes fewer side effects than using no local anesthesia.

Study Design

A retrospective analysis was conducted on 100 LA procedures performed on 100 patients between January 2009 and December 2011. The patients were divided into two groups: Group A (n = 50) received Lidocaine around the capsule of the thyroid nodule and Group B (n = 50) did not receive any local anesthetic treatment. Before treatment, the median volume size of the nodules of the two groups was similar.

Results and Conclusions

The results of our study demonstrate that the injection of local anesthetic does not help reduce nodule volume and that side effects (fever and pain) increase about threefold in the early hours following LA treatment. Thus, we do not recommend local anesthesia before LA of thyroid nodules. Lasers Surg. Med. 45: 34–37, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.