Liver Treatments
& Services

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive treatment that involves using imaging (ultrasound, CT or MRI) to guide a needle electrode into a tumor. An electrical current is then passed through the electrode, heating and killing the cancer cells. RFA is often used in patients for whom surgical resection is not an option. Radiofrequency ablation works best on tumors that are less than 1.5 inches in diameter and is often used along with chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the tumor.

Patient Benefits

  • Procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis
  • Procedure is minimally invasive, meaning less pain and a shorter recovery time

Patient Risks

  • Shoulder pain after procedure
  • Gallbladder inflammation
  • Flu-like symptoms known as "post-ablation syndrome" that appear several days after the procedure and usually last about five days
  • Damage to surrounding tissues that may require surgical correction
  • Infection
  • Bleeding