Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is less invasive since it uses heat to destroy or disrupt tissue, such as tumors. During the procedure, doctors use a catheter inserted through the skin to deliver high-frequency electrical energy directly to the affected area. This energy then creates heat and destroys or disrupts the targeted tissue. Radiofrequency ablation can treat various types of cancer, and other conditions like pain management or atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).
Benefits of RFA
The benefits of RFA are numerous. It is less invasive than surgery, which usually requires fewer risks and shorter recovery times. In addition, since doctors treat only small areas at one time with RFA, there is a lower risk of damage to other nearby areas. RFA is also highly accurate, allowing doctors to target specific cells or tissue without causing any harm to the surrounding healthy tissue.
How to Prepare for RFA
Before the procedure begins, the doctor will give you a local anesthetic and sedative to remain comfortable. The doctor will then guide the catheter through your skin and into the affected area using imaging technology such as X-ray, CT scan, or ultrasound. Once in position, the doctor will apply radiofrequency energy to the targeted tissue for a few minutes and remove the catheter from your body.
Afterward, your doctor may recommend follow-up exams or tests to see how well RFA has worked for you. You’ll also need to follow post-procedure instructions, such as taking pain medication or avoiding strenuous activities.
As with any medical procedure, discussing the risks and benefits of RFA with your doctor before making a decision is essential. Although it is generally safe and effective, there can be minor side effects, such as bruising or swelling at the insertion site. It’s also important to note that RFA may only suit some patients. Therefore, consult your doctor before beginning the treatment.