Radiofrequency Ablation

Private appointments are offered at The Maidstone Hospital.

What is radiofrequency ablation (RFA)?
Radiofrequency ablation uses heat made by radiowaves to kill cells. Radiofrequency is a type of electrical energy. 'Ablation' means 'destroying completely'. The electrical energy heats up the tumour and kills the cancer cells. You have RFA through a probe that goes through your skin into the tumour.

Please note that this is not a curative treatment but can increase survival time and improve your quality of life by reducing your symptoms.

What are the risks of the procedure/treatment?
Although RFA has been accepted as a promising and safe technique for treatment of inoperable tumours, there is as with any procedure, a small risk.

What will happen during the procedure?
Before the treatment starts, you will have either a general anaesthetic or a sedative with a local anaesthetic. You can have RFA in different ways. The most common route is through your skin (percutaneously).

How will I feel after the procedure?
Most people have a few mild side effects after RFA. These may include:

  • Discomfort or mild pain where you've been treated
  • Generally feeling unwell for a few days, perhaps with a raised temperature
  • Infection - but this is rare.

How long will I be in hospital?
You will stay in hospital overnight following your procedure. Your doctor will give you painkillers to take home with you.