Radio frequency or RFA is the newest treatment modality available to treat and kill the cancer cells. The procedure works on the principle of thermal heating and destruction of the tumour cells without having to remove them. Hence it is also called as a minimally invasive surgical procedure.
This procedure is primarily performed to treat these liver cancers:
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Metastasised cancer (cancer present somewhere else e.g. colon but having secondaries in the liver)
It is used in following conditions:
- Tumours less than one and a half inches in diameter
- As an adjuvant to chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- When surgery is too risky because of factors like age and concomitant diseases
- Deep seated, difficult to reach tumour in the liver
- Tumour too large so if removed can compromise liver function
- Multiple tumours away from each other
- Recurrence of the tumours
This procedure can be conducted on an outpatient basis. And the patient is put under local anaesthesia and sedation or general anaesthesia. It is performed with the help of imaging techniques such as MRI, CT or Ultrasound guidance. The procedure is undertaken by an vascular specialist in Hyderabad Dr.Abhilash. The vitals of the patient such as blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse rate are checked throughout. The operative area on the abdomen is sterilised. This procedure can be done surgically or percutaneous or laparoscopically. A small incision is taken on the abdomen through which the radiofrequency ablation needle is inserted in the liver with the help of the image guidance. The needle is inserted inside the tumour present in the liver. Grounding pads are placed on the back or the thigh of the patient.
Once in the desired location, electric current is passed between the needle and the grounding pads placed on the patient’s skin. This electricity is sent in the range of radiofrequency waves. These waves cause local thermal heating of the tumour cells. Because of this intense heat in a very targeted small area, the liver cancer cells are destroyed. Because of the heat, small blood vessels supplying blood to the tumour cells also get clogged and shrunken. This leads to minimal blood loss at the same time cutting off the blood supply to the liver cells. The dead cancer cells are replaced with fibrous tissue and scar formation over a period of time.
Each session takes almost 10 to 30 mins. Once the procedure is over in total 2 to 3 hours, the RFA electrodes are removed. There will be minimal bleeding which can be stopped just by putting pressure on it with a gauze piece. No sutures are required. Pain killers are given for few days. The skin is covered with a dressing. The patient is kept in the recovery room till he/she regains complete consciousness and then discharged. Patient is able to resume daily activities after 3-5 days of rest.
Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation Procedure done by vascular surgeon -Dr Abhilash, Hyderabad:
- Success rate of this procedure is more than 85%.
- As this is a minimally invasive procedure, the post-operative complications are very few.
- Doesn’t require long duration of hospital stay
- No large surgical scar
- Can be used repetitively
- Cost effective
Radiofrequency ablation a very beneficial procedure but requires expertise in the operative field and experience in these procedure. Get your liver cancer treated with these advanced procedures from Vascular Surgeries by the best Endo Vascular Surgeons in Hyderabad , Dr.Abhilash Sandhyala.