Surgical Associates, S.C. offers advanced, nonsurgical procedures for thyroid nodules and emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis


January is Thyroid Awareness Month, and providers from Surgical Associates are stressing the importance of preventative screenings and blood tests to diagnose possible thyroid conditions before they increase in severity.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped endocrine gland located at the front of the neck, just above the collarbone. Though small in size, the gland plays a large role in producing and releasing thyroid hormone, which is vitally important in promoting growth and development and ensuring healthy function of all major organs.

Physical problems can develop when the thyroid is not operating as it should. By releasing too much of the thyroid hormone into the bloodstream, the thyroid can accelerate metabolism in a condition called hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when there is too little thyroid hormone production to maintain a normal metabolism.

Thyroid nodules are also a common disorder that can affect how the gland performs. These lumps or abnormal masses often occur independent of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and are increasingly common with age. Nodules are found in up to half of people age 60 or older, and even though most are benign, they may cause discomfort, problems with swallowing, cosmetic concerns, and excess thyroid hormone production.


Surgical Associates is a Leader in Minimally Invasive Treatment of Thyroid Nodules

Robert T. Brebrick, MD, of Surgical Associates, is the only surgeon in Northcentral Wisconsin performing radio frequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive procedure to treat non-cancerous thyroid nodules. This nonsurgical alternative shrinks the nodules, often without compromising thyroid function, and helps avoid the long recovery times and scarring associated with thyroid surgery.

The RFA procedure begins with insertion of a probe into the thyroid nodule by use of a guided ultrasound. Selective heating of the probe tip causes the nodule’s tissue to be cauterized, which can then be broken down by the body over the course of months. Performed under local anesthesia, RFA is relatively painless.

RFA is a highly-effective treatment for benign thyroid nodules, causing them to shrink in size between 60-90% after one year.


Person with enlarged thyroid


For more information about Surgical Associates’ RFA procedure, call 715-847-2022.

About Surgical Associates, S.C.:

Surgical Associates, S.C. is a multispecialty, independent surgical practice providing tertiary-level surgical care at Aspirus Wausau Hospital. General and acute care surgery, vascular surgery, breast surgery, bariatric surgery, and plastic surgery are among the surgical services offered at Surgical Associates. The practice provides outreach clinic and surgical services to several Northcentral Wisconsin communities, including Antigo, Medford, Merrill, Rhinelander, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Woodruff as well as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Surgical Associates is a proud member of Aspirus Network Inc. For more information, visit

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