Radiofrequency Ablation
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Radiofrequency Ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to destroy abnormal tissue.

Radiofrequency ablation is used to treat:

  • Cancerous tumors in the liver, bone, kidney, breast, lung, or adrenal gland, particularly those that have not responded, or are unlikely to respond to surgery and/or chemotherapy alone (often used to treat tumors that have spread)
  • Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular and/or rapid heart rhythms due to abnormal electrical conduction pathways)
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) —condition in which enlarged areas of the prostate may be compressing the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body)
  • Overgrown areas of the soft palate that may be responsible for severe snoring and/or sleep apnea (periods of time when breathing stops during sleep)
  • Pain from soft tissue tumors
  • Severe nerve pain
  • Varicose...

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have ablation, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Discomfort
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Infection
  • Lung collapse upon insertion of the probe (when the procedure involves the lung, liver, or upper kidney)
  • Blood clots or damage to heart muscle or conduction pathways after procedures on the heart
  • Liver abscess (small, localized collection of pus within a cavity left by the destroyed tissue)
  • Damage to tissue surrounding the target area

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

  • Bleeding problems
  • Active infection

Call Your Doctor

After you leave the hospital, contact your...