Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses electrical energy to create heat in a specific location, temperature and time. Sufficient temperatures ultimately result in the death of unwanted cancer tissue in the liver. When compared to other radiofrequency ablation procedures, percutaneous is the least invasive method by which radiofrequency energy is performed.
During a percutaneous radiofrequency ablation procedure, a needle electrode is inserted through the skin and into the site of the kidney tumor. Physicians – a Urologist and an Interventional Radiologist – use image guidance via ultrasound to monitor the treatment process and guide the needle to the exact location. Once the electrode is in place, electric energy is transmitted to the needle tip and generates heat. The heat cooks the tumor affected area and destroys the targeted tissue within minutes.
Although general anesthesia is unnecessary, the patient is sedated during percutaneous radiofrequency ablation. Often, the patient is able to go home the same day. If general anesthesia is not used, some discomfort or pain may be felt while the area is being ablated. The normal kidney can be spared, and the tumor area forms into a scar.
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