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News | Jan. 23, 2024

Medical Center Breaks New Medical Ground in Thyroid Treatment Therapy

By Kyle Lee Harvey

FORT BELVOIR, VA. (January 12, 2024)— Talented physicians from the Ear, Nose, and Throat Medical Service Team at the Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center (ATAMMC) achieved a significant milestone by successfully performing one of the first thyroid nodule ablations in the military health system. This groundbreaking procedure showcases the team's extensive training and proficiencies, and represents a major advancement in the field of thyroid medical treatment.

Led by Lt. Col. Nikolaus T. Sneshkoff, the skilled medical team achieved a significant milestone in thyroid care by successfully performing the pioneering, minimally-invasive surgical procedure. This innovative technique showcases their expertise and represents a leap forward in thyroid treatment within the medical center and the military health system.

“Our first patient has been patiently waiting for the equipment to arrive because it symbolizes so much to her ongoing treatment,” said Sneshkoff. “She had her nodule successfully ablated this afternoon and we are pleased with the outcome.”

Thyroid ablation, a procedure previously unavailable in the United States, was popularized in South Korea and involves the precise, targeted removal and destruction of thyroid tissues. The revolutionary procedure offers new hope to patients dealing with thyroid-related conditions such as hyperthyroidism and thyroid nodules.

Thanks to the unwavering determination and dedication of Otolaryngology Surgeon Maj. Naomi Will, ATAMMC has become the first military treatment facility to acquire the essential equipment and training required to perform these advanced procedures. Dr. Will took the initiative to organize comprehensive training for the medical staff, paving the way for this remarkable achievement.

"There are many advantages to thyroid nodule ablation,” said Dr. Will. “The procedure can be done in an outpatient setting which eliminates the need for general anesthesia, incisions, and removal of the thyroid gland. It is an attractive, non-surgical option with risks that are lower than the open surgical approach.”

This significant advancement in thyroid treatment within the military health system ensures that a greater number of patients at the medical center will now have access to state-of-the-art treatment options.

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