Radiofrequency Ablation

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses radio wave heat to kill cancer cells. Radiofrequency is a form of electric energy. Ablation means destruction. You have RFA through a probe (electrode) which goes into the tumour through your skin. The electrical current from the electrode exposes the cancer cells to high temperatures, which kills them. The body then eliminates the dead cells.

What types of cancer are treated using Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation is most commonly used to treat a cancer spot that causes complications such as Pain or other irritation. It is not typically used as the main treatment for most cancers.

Radiofrequency ablation may be used for the treatment of tumours in:

  • Adrenal gland
  • Breast
  • Bone
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Lung
  • Pancreas
  • Thyroid

Radiofrequency ablation is usually considered a treatment option only if, for some reason, you are not a good candidate for Surgery С like your overall health or the presence of numerous small tumours in an organ. RFA could also be a remedy for managing precancerous cells in the oesophagus that are involved with Barrett’s oesophagus.

How is Radiofrequency Ablation done?

First, you will be given an intravenous medication to relax. You will then lie on your stomach or a table. The doctor will numb the spot on your skin with anaesthesia. Then, he or she will:

  • Insert a thin needle into the area where the Pain is felt; an X-Ray can help your doctor identify the exact area.
  • Inject a microelectrode through a needle; your doctor will ask if you are having a tingling sensation; this will help your doctor find the correct treatment area
  • Send a tiny amount of radiofrequency current to heat the nerve tissue through the electrode

It typically takes 30 to 90 minutes to complete the procedure. After the treatment, you will be advised to go home.

What are the side effects of Radiofrequency Ablation?

After RFA, some people may get a few insignificant side effects. The most important of these are:

  • Mild Pain or a mild discomfort
  • Feeling unwell for a few days with an elevated temperature
  • Infection, however, this is rare

The side effects can be taken care of by using medications or following complementary and alternative medicine.