Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to destroy abnormal tissue.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

    • 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

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to destroy abnormal tissue.

  • What to Expect

  • 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
      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
    cardiac ablation heart
    Ablation procedure blocked impulses that had been causing atrial fibrillation.
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have ablation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • 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 (small, localized collection of pus within a cavity left by the destroyed tissue)
    • Damage to tissue surrounding the target area

    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Bleeding problems
    • Active infection