Patient Profile: Focused Ultrasound for Benign Thyroid Nodules

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Key Points

  • Venus Leung, a 52-year-old Hong Kong woman with benign thyroid nodules, was successfully treated with focused ultrasound by Professor Brian Lang.
  • She recalled, “I couldn’t believe that I had undergone a treatment with better results than surgical removal, and I didn’t…feel any discomfort.”
  • This profile is written in English and Chinese.
After focused ultrasound treatment, Venus’s thyroid nodule has been treated and she does not have the scars associated with traditional surgery.

Ms. Venus Leung discovered a lump near her thyroid, and though it was benign, she chose focused ultrasound treatment at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong. Professor Brian Lang performed the procedure.

Thyroid nodules are solid or fluid-filled lumps that form within your thyroid gland, and most of them are benign. Though they are not generally harmful, they can impede breathing and swallowing if allowed to grow.

We spoke with Ms. Leung about her experience and how she is doing today, more than two years after treatment.

Tell me a little about yourself. 請簡單介紹一下你自己。
My name is Ms. Venus Leung. I am 52 years old and currently employed.

本人梁女士,52歲是一位在職人士

When did your symptoms start? 你的症狀是什麼時候開始的?
About four years ago, I unintentionally felt a lump next to my throat on the right side of my neck.
大約四年前,有一次無意中摸到右邊頸喉嚨側有仲粒

Tell me about your diagnosis. 請形容您的診斷。
After finding out about the lump, I thought there might be a problem with my thyroid gland, but I wasn’t sure whether it was benign or malignant.

當發現後也自覺得是可能甲狀腺出現問題,但不知是良性還是惡性

What treatment options did your doctor offer? 您的醫生提供了哪些治療方案?
I immediately visited and told my family doctor, who referred me to the specialist outpatient department of Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital for further examination, including fine needle aspiration biopsy and ultrasound examination. Turns out the thyroid nodule was benign, and the doctor said that since it was still small, I only had to do regular checkups to see if there were any changes and further treatments needed.

立即去看家庭醫生說這情況,家庭醫生轉介我去東區那打素醫院專科門診作進一步檢查,包括抽針和做超聲波檢查,結果係甲狀線結節良性的,醫生說我個結節暫時還小,只需要定期檢查觀察有否變異,再作進一步治療

When did you first hear about focused ultrasound? 您是什麼時候第一次聽說到聚焦超聲的?
About a year later, during a follow-up consultation, the doctor said that if my nodule is too large, surgical removal would be a clean and complete option, but it would leave a scar and compromised thyroid function, and even possibly affect the vocal cords. The doctor said that if I didn’t want a surgery, Queen Mary Hospital had a technology called focused ultrasound ablation that could eliminate nodules without the need for surgery. For the time being, this technology only existed at Queen Mary Hospital [in Hong Kong].

大約過咗一年後,有一次覆診,醫生說如果我個結節太大開刀切除係一個切底選擇,但會留意疤痕和無左甲狀線的功能,而且有機會影響聲帶,之後醫生說如果唔想開刀,瑪麗醫院有一個叫聚焦消融不用開刀可以消除結節,暫時只有瑪麗醫院有這技術

Why did you decide to take part in a clinical trial?你為什麼決定參加臨床試驗?
Beauty is always a priority for ladies. After hearing about not needing a surgery, no scars left, and being able to preserve the thyroid function, I didn’t have to think twice and asked my doctor for a referral to try it out.

女士總是愛美的,聽到不需做手術不留疤痕而且還可以保留甲狀腺功能,想也不想就叫醫生轉介一試

Describe how you felt waking up the morning of treatment. 請描述您在接受治療後那個早上醒來時的感受。
After the treatment, I felt very relaxed, and life was wonderful.

治療後感受很輕鬆,生活很美好

What was the treatment itself like? 治療本身是怎麽樣的?您有什麽感覺?
Before the treatment, Professor Lang told me not to worry; it would take about 40 minutes and there was no need for general anesthesia. The equipment would be placed at the location of the nodule on the neck to eliminate it with high temperature, and there might be a bit of swelling and discomfort after the treatment. I felt very comfortable with the procedure and was not afraid.

治療前梁教授說,不用擔心,大約四十分鐘左右,不需全身麻醉,只要將儀器放在頸上結節的位置用高溫消死,治療後的位置可能有紅腫不適,我感覺很放心也不害怕

How did you feel going home from treatment? 治療結束後回家那時的感覺如何?
The feeling of going home from the treatment was that I couldn’t believe that I had undergone a treatment with better results than surgical removal, and I didn’t have any problems or feel any discomfort.

治療後回家的感覺是,不相信做了一個比切除手術更好功能的治療,身體沒有什麼大礙和不適

Describe your life now. 請描述您現在的生活。
Now my life is the same as before having the nodule; everything is normal, and my voice is not affected. Professor [Lang] says I’m doing well every time during checkup, and the shrinkage of the nodule is favorable; this is really what I had hoped for.

現在生活同未發病前沒有不同,一切正常,聲音也沒影響,每次檢查教授都說很好,結節委縮很理想,這就是我想要的

Tell me what you would like to say to your clinical team. 您想對您的臨床團隊說些什麼嗎?
Here, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Professor Lang and the team of doctors and nurses from Queen Mary Hospital for their contribution to mankind! They make our lives more wonderful and beautiful! I wish the team more success in the future! Thank you very much!

在這裡我衷心多謝瑪麗醫院梁教授等醫生,護士團隊對人們的貢獻!使我們的生活更精彩美好!祝願團隊以後有更多好好的成績!多謝多謝!!!