Patients who have certain types of cancer may be candidates for radiofrequency ablation (RFA) - a minimally-invasive procedure at Northern Westchester Hospital that uses heat generated by a specific type of electrical energy known as radiofrequency to destroy cancer cells.
A small probe measuring about 1mm in diameter is inserted through one or more tiny incisions in the skin, and is guided using imaging generated by either a CT scan or an ultrasound. Once the probe reaches the tumor or cancerous cells, the Interventional Radiologist at NWH activates the device, resulting in the heating of the targeted cells.
RFA is often used in combination with other forms of cancer treatment, and it may be an option for patients who are unable to have surgery due to:
- The location of their cancer(s)
- Inability to tolerate general anesthetic
- There are multiple cancer sites throughout the body
Types of Cancer Treated with Radiofrequency Ablation
RFA can be used to treat the following types of cancer:
- Primary and secondary liver cancer
- Primary and secondary lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Other types of primary and secondary cancers that cannot be treated with surgical removal
While large tumors can be treated with multiple rounds of RFA, it is most often used to treat small tumors that are 5cm or less in diameter.
What to Expect
RFA is generally performed using local anesthesia and mild oral sedation to help keep the patient comfortable throughout the treatment, and the amount of time each treatment requires varies from 30 minutes to 3 hours based on the size of the tumor.
Depending on the type of cancer being treated, RFA may be used alone, or in combination with other therapies designed to both minimize the size of the tumor and help to manage pain and other symptoms of cancer.
Most people tolerate radiofrequency ablation well with few side effects; some report experiencing mild discomfort and swelling at the treatment site, while others feel generally unwell on their treatment day. Infections are possible but rarely occur.
The majority of patients have RFA treatment as an outpatient procedure, and are able to return home the same day.
RFA at Northern Westchester Hospital
Radiofrequency Ablation at Northern Westchester Hospital is performed by our team of experienced Radiologists in the Interventional Radiology department in our state-of-the art, dedicated radiology suite.
Our Interventional Radiologists work in conjunction with our Oncologists, primary physicians, nurses, and other health professionals to design and deliver customized cancer treatments to each of our patients.
To learn more about radiofrequency ablation at Northern Westchester Hospital, give us a call at 914.666.1200, or for a patient referral call 877.469.4362.