Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive treatment that can be used to reduce pain, shrink tumors, and treat chronic conditions. It is one of several types of ablation therapy, in which surgery is not a good option. Guided by images, a thin needle or probe is inserted through the skin into the tumor. RFA is a procedure done in a doctor's office or hospital, and patients usually return home the same day. RFA works by using an electric current produced by a radio wave to heat a small area of nerve tissue, decreasing pain signals from that specific area.
It can also be used to reduce the size of tumors, nodules, or other growths in the body. RFA is used to treat a variety of conditions, including benign and malignant tumors, chronic venous insufficiency in the legs, and chronic back and neck pain. The procedure works by destroying nerve fibers that carry pain signals to the brain. It can provide lasting relief for people with chronic pain, especially in the lower back, neck and arthritic joints. If you have recurrent pain and experienced good relief from a nerve block injection, you may be a candidate for radiofrequency ablation. During the procedure, a healthcare provider uses radio waves to apply heat to specific nerves through specialized needles, temporarily disrupting their ability to send pain signals to the brain.
X-ray images are used to help the doctor ensure that it is directed to the correct nerve. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation (AMM) are treatments that use imaging guidance to place a needle through the skin until it reaches a liver tumor. In RFA, high-frequency electric currents pass 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. Heat destroys cancer cells in the liver. ARF and AMM are effective treatment options for patients who may have difficulty with surgery or for those whose tumors are less than one and a half inches in diameter.
The success rate for completely eliminating small liver tumors is over 85 percent. When it comes to treating thyroid nodules with RFA, this treatment is relatively new and its risks are still being evaluated. If you and your doctor decide that ARF is appropriate for treating the thyroid nodule, you will have one or more fine-needle aspiration biopsy procedures to make sure that the nodule is benign.