Procedure for Radio-Frequency Ablation

Interventional Radiology

What is Radio-Frequency Ablation?

Radio-frequency Ablation is a procedure performed using electrical energy/radio waves to heat up a small area and kill a nerve tissue.

Uses of Radio-Frequency Treatment

Radio frequency treatment is used in treating several conditions. Radiofrequency ablation for back pain is commonly performed in people suffering from continuing lower back pain. The objective of this treatment is to reduce the pain signals sent by a nerve tissue by destroying it.

This therapy is also used in treating pain in neck and joints. RF treatment is a form of cosmetic treatment done on the facial skin by focusing radiofrequency electromagnetic energy on the outer skin layers to get that additional facial glow.

How Does Radio-Frequency Ablation Help in Cancer Treatment?

Radiofrequency ablation is used to destroy the cancer cells by the heat produced by radio waves. The following types of cancers can be treated –

  • Liver
  • Lungs
  • Kidney
  • Bone
  • Prostate

Who Benefits From Radio-Frequency Ablation?

This treatment is offered in patients who have multiple small tumors in a part of the body, or if the cancer cells are positioned in such a way to increase the complexity and risk of a surgery. Radio frequency treatment for cancer is also recommended when surgery is not possible due to other pre-existing health conditions as these might complicate the surgery.

How is The Radio-Frequency Ablation Done?

The treatment is done under a general anesthesia or a sedative with a local anesthesia. The specialist instructs on things one should be prepared for prior to the treatment, for instance for how long one needs to avoid meals. Radio frequency treatment can be done through the skin, during a surgery or as a laparoscopy. Usually, 1-2 mm wide probe is guided through the skin to reach the cancer cells. The level of heat and the treatment duration depends on the number of areas which require treatment and size of the cancer cells.

Are There Risks of Radio Frequency Treatment?

Since this is a minimally invasive cancer treatment method; the common complications reported are discomfort or mild pain for a first few days post treatment. Numbness or weakness can be experienced during this period due to the effects of high temperature directed in the area. One should seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms are reported.

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