Radiofrequency Ablation

(RFA)

Definition

Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to destroy abnormal tissue.

Reasons for Procedure

Radiofrequency ablation is used to treat:
  • Cancerous tumors in the liver, bone, kidney, breast, lung, or adrenal gland; particularly those that have not responded, or are unlikely to respond to surgery and/or chemotherapy alone. It is often used to treat tumors that have spread.
  • Cardiac arrhythmias —Irregular and/or rapid heart rhythms due to abnormal electrical conduction pathways.
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—Condition in which enlarged areas of the prostate may be compressing the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body.
  • Overgrown areas of the soft palate that may be responsible for severe snoring and/or sleep apnea .
  • Pain from soft tissue tumors or disease that has spread.
  • Severe nerve pain.
  • Varicose veins .
Radiofrequency Ablation Results
cardiac ablation heart
Ablation procedure blocked impulses that had been causing atrial fibrillation.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Discomfort
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Infection
  • Lung collapse upon insertion of the probe—when the procedure involves the lung, liver, or upper kidney
  • Blood clots or damage to heart muscle or conduction pathways after procedures on the heart
  • Liver abscess
  • Damage to tissue surrounding the target area
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
  • Bleeding problems
  • Active infection

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