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Radiofrequency ablation

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Radiofrequency ablation is an impact of high-energy radio-waves on tumour tissues. It results in heating of the cells to high temperature and their further destruction. After performing of RFA at place of the procedure will occur a small scar.

This is a minimally invasive method which does not require general anesthesia and surgical incisions. It is used:

  • as main treatment;
  • as alternative to surgery;
  • as treatment for symptoms relief.

Types of radiofrequency ablation

Depending on the method of catheterization, the radiofrequency ablation can be:

  • transcutaneous (percutaneous introduction of electrode) which is the most common RFA method;
  • laparascopic (electrode is introduced through abdominal punctures) which is used to treat abdominal tumours.

RFA is also used during abdominal surgeries as additional method of tumor removal.

Application of RFA in oncology

Radiofrequency treatment is used for such types of cancer:

  • primary liver cancer and its metastases;
  • primary and secondary lung cancer with metastases;
  • kidney cancer;
  • malignant breast tumors;
  • precancerous changes of esophageal mucosa (Barrett’s metaplasia);
  • neoplasms of large blood vessels.

Performance of the procedure:

All manipulations are performed under MRI control. The patient receives local anaesthesia for pain relief. A thin electrode needle with diameter less than 2 mm is introduced into the tumor. The needle applies a current which heats up the surrounding tissues to 90°С.

After the procedure of ablation the patient can feel a pain connected with the necrosis of tumor cells. The pain syndrome lasts not more than 3 days and is well treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Cardiological application of the radiofrequency ablation

Cardiologists apply the radiofrequency ablation to treat the following heart disorders:

  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (congenital abnormality of heart structure);
  • AV nodal reentrant tachycardia (specific form of supraventricular tachycardia);
  • ventricular tachycardia;
  • auricular and atrial fibrillation.

When making radiofrequency ablation with arrhythmia the catheter is inserted through the right or left femoral vein to the heart. After electrophysiological examination (EPE) and localization of foci of arrhythmia, the current is supplied to these areas. Effect of high temperature neutralizes the tissues.

The procedure is performed under X-ray control and requires injection of sedative and local anaesthetic drugs. After the end of operation a hermetic seal is applied on place of catheterization. During 24 hours the patient must follow a strict bed confinement at the inpatient department.

RFA can be also applied during open heart surgeries.

Contradictions to the procedure

In some cases application of the RFA procedure has unfavorable prognosis and should be made only under control of specialists.

Such cases include:

  • allergy for introduced anaesthesia or sedative drugs;
  • aggravation of any chronic disease;
  • severe anemia;
  • chronic renal failure;
  • blood clotting disorder;
  • pulmonary edema;
  • acute infectious disease.

What is the best hospital to undergo the radiofrequency ablation?

The method of radiofrequency ablation has been successfully used to treat cardiovascular disorders from 1986. It becomes common during recent years. High efficiency rate of RFA is caused by accuracy of preliminary diagnostics, manipulations of surgeon during operation, proper level of medical equipment and suitable post-operative care program.

Coordinators of the International patients support center Bookimed advise you to undergo the procedure of radiofrequency ablation in hospitals of Germany and Israel.

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