Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation

=Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) of Lung, kidney, breast, bone and Liver tumors=

RFA is performed to cure tumors in lung, liver, kidney, bone and rarely in other body organs. RFA procedure is performed under image guidance such as CT scan or ultrasound by a group of physicians, known as "Interventional radiologists".RFA is increasingly accepted in the last 10 years with promising results. Once the diagnosis of tumor is confirmed, RFA probe (needle) is placed inside the tumor. The radiofrequency waves passing through the probe increase the temperature with in tumor tissue that results in destruction of the tumor. Generally RFA is used to treat patients with small tumors that started with in the organ (primary tumors) or that spread to the organ (metastasis). The suitability of a patient to receive RFA is decided by doctors based on multiple factors.

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Use in Cardiology

Radiofrequency energy is used to destroy abnormal electrical pathways in heart tissue. It is used in recurrent atrial fibrillation and other types of supraventricular tachycardia. The energy emitting probe (electrode) is placed into the heart through a catheter. The practitioner first "maps" an area of the heart to locate the abnormal electrical activity before the responsible tissue is eliminated. Ablation is a newer technique and has shown some promise for cases unresponsive to conventional treatments. New techniques include the use of cryoablation (tissue freezing using a coolant which flows through the catheter), and microwave ablation, where tissue is ablated by the microwave energy "cooking" the adjacent tissue. The abnormal electrophysiology can also be modified in a similar way surgically, and this procedure referred to as the "Cox maze procedure", is commonly performed concomitantly with cardiac surgery.

This procedure is usually performed by a subspecialty of cardiologists known as cardiac electrophysiologists.

Treatment of Varicose Veins

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally-invasive procedure used in the treatment of varicose veins. An alternative to the traditional stripping operation, it is usually used to treat the great or small saphenous veins. Branch varicose veins are then treated either with phlebectomy or sclerotherapy.

Under ultrasound guidance, a radiofrequency catheter is inserted into the abnormal vein and the vessel treated with radio-energy, resulting in closure of the involved vein. Early studies have shown a high success rate with low rates of complications.

Other Uses

RFA is also used in radiofrequency lesioning, somnoplasty, and for vein closure in areas where intrusive surgery is contraindicated by trauma. Radiofrequency energy is also used in liver resection to control bleeding (hemostasis) and facilitate the transection process.

See also

* Non-invasive RF cancer treatment

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