Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) is a procedure that involves placing a probe into a tumor and using electrical current to heat the tumor, killing it. If a tumor is able to be ablated completely, this treatment is believed to be equivalent to removing the tumor with surgery. Tumors most commonly treated with this method are kidney and liver tumors, though lung and bone tumors can be treated as well.
What should I expect?
Your radiologist will need to evaluate you and your tumor to see if you are a candidate for the procedure. The procedure may be performed with CT or Ultrasound guidance. You will receive a combination of local anesthesia and sedation to keep you comfortable. A biopsy of the tumor may be performed at the time of the procedure. Once the probe is placed into the tumor, the tumor is treated. The procedure usually takes approximately 2 hours. Most patients are able to leave after 2-4 hours of observation. You may feel some mild discomfort at the treated site for the next few days, but this is typically can be treated with over the counter medications.
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