Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a technique that uses a small needle electrode to send an electrical current to heat and kill cancer cells. The heat also closes nearby blood vessels to limit bleeding. As you heal after the procedure, scar tissue replaces the tumor.
The needle electrode is guided with imaging scans, such as CT or MRI. These images tell the radiologist where to put the electrode.
This is minimally invasive surgery because it is an image-guided technique. It lets your doctor to get to the cancer through small cuts in the skin. Minimally invasive means less cutting and less blood loss. As a result, you may recover more quickly and have less pain related to the treatment.
RFA may be part of your overall cancer treatment. You may have it along with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. You may not be able to have RFA if the tumor is close to important organs or tissues. Using RFA to reduce the tumor size may help some people live longer.