Reasons for Procedure
- 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 (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 (periods of time when breathing stops during sleep)
- Pain from soft tissue tumors or disease that has spread
- Severe nerve pain
- Varicose veins
|Radiofrequency Ablation Results|
|Ablation procedure blocked impulses that had been causing atrial fibrillation.|
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- Bruising or bleeding
- 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 (small, localized collection of pus within a cavity left by the destroyed tissue)
- Damage to tissue surrounding the target area
- Bleeding problems
- Active infection
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Your doctor may order:
- Blood tests
- Electrocardiogram (EKG)—a test that records the electrical currents passing through the heart muscle
- Imaging tests like x-rays, ultrasound, or MRI
- Ask your doctor if you need to avoid eating or drinking before the procedure.
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or chest pain
- Nausea and vomiting
American College of Radiology http://www.acr.org
The Radiological Society of North America http://www.rsna.org
BC Cancer Agency http://www.bccancer.bc.ca
Canadian Cancer Society http://www.cancer.ca
Gazelle GS, Goldberg SN, et al. Tumor ablation with radio-frequency energy. Radiology. 2000;217(3):633.
Interventional radiology. RadiologyInfo website. Available at http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/sitemap/category.cfm?category=ir&bhcp=1. Accessed August 28, 2006.
Radiofrequency ablation. American Heart Association website. Available at http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4682. Accessed August 28, 2006.
Radiofrequency ablation. National Institutes of Health website. Available at http://www.cc.nih.gov/drd/rfa/background.html. Accessed August 28, 2006.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/26/2012 -