RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation)
This procedure destroys a tumor in the body that is smaller in size (6 cm or less). After receiving anesthesia, a needle is inserted into the tumor guided by a CT scan. A high-frequency electrical current is then injected which will heat and destroy the tumor. There are minimal side effects associated with RFA and you will likely go home the same day.
- For patients who have a medical condition that prevents surgery
- For older patients who will have trouble with post-operation recovery
- To treat smaller tumors
- To treat new tumors that reappear after surgery
RFA: How to Prepare
- You may be asked to fast for several hours prior to the procedure
- Notify the radiologist of any medications or allergies (especially to anesthetics)
- You may be tested to evaluate the functioning of the affected organs and to make sure your blood is clotting
- Bring a friend to help you home after being sedated
- You may be asked to wear a gown
RFA: During the Procedure
- You will be hooked up to a heart-rate and blood-pressure monitor
- You might be sore after the procedure, which can be managed with IV pain medication and then oral pain medications.
- Most patients resume normal activity within a few days
- At some point after the procedure, you will undergo a CT or MRI scan to measure the success of the RFA
The radiologist can sometimes put chemotherapy directly into a tumor injecting it into the artery going to it. After sedation and a local anesthetic, a small tube is inserted through the artery in the hip and then directed to the tumor. The procedure is minimally invasive and you should be able to go home the same day.
Tumor Embolism: Uses
- To treat tumors that cannot be surgically removed
- To treat tumors that are too large for RFA
- Can be used concurrently with RFA