Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) uses electrical energy to “super heat” and attack the tumor. The procedure can be performed by inserting a needle through the skin under x-ray guidance, then placing a probe through the needle and positioning it in the liver tumor. The procedure is usually performed by an interventional radiologist under local anesthesia. Alternatively, the procedure can be done laparoscopically, using a laparoscope that is inserted through a tiny incision in the abdomen. It may also be done as an open surgical procedure. The laparoscopic and open surgical procedures are performed by a surgeon.
Common Side Effects
Many patients experience a low grade fever for a few days following the procedure. There is a very low risk of infection, bleeding and skin burn.
Typically, the patient will go home the same day. If a laparoscopic procedure is selected then the patient usually goes home the following day. An open surgical procedure requires that an incision be made in the abdomen, general anesthesia is needed and the recovery period will be longer.