Ablation / Emprint Ablation System

Emprint Ablation System
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Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) / Microwave Ablation (MWA) of Liver Tumors

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation (MWA) are treatments that use image guidance to place a needle through the skin into a liver tumor. In RFA, high-frequency electrical currents are passed through an electrode in the needle, creating a small region of heat. In MWA, microwaves are created from the needle to create a small region of heat. The heat destroys the liver cancer cells. RFA and MWA are effective treatment options for patients who might have difficulty with surgery or those whose tumors are less than one and a half inches in diameter. The success rate for completely eliminating small liver tumors is greater than 85 percent.

Your doctor will instruct you on how to prepare. Inform your doctor if there's a possibility you are pregnant and discuss any recent illnesses, medical conditions, allergies and medications you're taking. Your doctor may advise you to stop taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or blood thinners several days prior to your procedure. You may be instructed not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the procedure. Leave jewelry at home and wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may be asked to wear a gown. Plan to have someone drive you home afterward.

          Radiofrequency equipment

There are two types of needle electrodes: simple straight needles and a straight, hollow needle that contains several retractable electrodes that extend when needed.

The radiofrequency generator produces electrical currents in the range of radiofrequency waves. It is connected by insulated wires to the needle electrodes and to grounding pads that are placed on the patient's back or thigh.

Microwave equipment

A straight needle is used.

The microwave generator produces electromagnetic waves in the microwave energy spectrum. It is connected by insulated wires to the needles.

How does the procedure work?

Radiofrequency ablation works by passing electrical currents in the range of radiofrequency waves between the needle electrode and the grounding pads placed on the patient's skin. These currents create heat around the electrode, which when directed into the tumor, heats and destroys the cancer cells. At the same time, heat from radiofrequency energy closes small blood vessels and lessens the risk of bleeding. The dead tumor cells are gradually replaced by scar tissue that shrinks over time.

Microwave ablation works by producing electromagnetic waves in the microwave energy spectrum. These microwaves create heat around the needle, which heat and destroy the cancer cells. Heat closes small blood vessels and lessens the risk of bleeding. The dead tumor cells are gradually replaced by scar tissue.

Ultrasound, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging may be used to help the physician guide the needle electrode into the tumor.