Liver Cancer Ablation
Dr. David Breen
Dr David Breen (Southampton) has extensive experience with both Radiorequency Ablation (RFA) and Mirowave Ablation (MWA) of solitary and multiple Liver tumours.
Liver Tumours - Microwave Ablation
Benefits of cancer ablation
- Less invasive than "keyhole"
- Shorter hospital stay
- Return to work quicker
- Preserves normal tissue better than surgical techniques
Liver tumours either arise from the liver itself (primary) or have seeded from tumours elsewhere (secondary ).
There are many options available to treat primary and secondary liver tumours. Surgical removal is a major undertaking despite the emergence minimally invasive liver surgery. Microwave ablation, and its fore runner RFA, are less invasive procedures that involve placing thin probes through the skin under image guidance. The tumours are then heated and destroyed.
Decisions on each patient are made only after detailed discussion with all the doctors involved with your care. The benefits of one technique over another are dependent on many factors but are very dependent on exactly where the tumour is. Focal ablation is extremely unlikely to be of benefit if you have ascites or cancerous deposits in other organs. Similarly multiple tumours are unlikely to be suitable except in specific circumstances. We recommend you discuss the option of Microwave ablation with your oncologist and cancer care team.
How do I proceed?
Referrals for Liver Microwave ablation are better coming directly from your oncologist or cancer care team. Patients with cancer in other organs or patients with ascites cannot be treated with microwave as systemic therapy is the appropriate treatment. If in doubt contact your oncologist.
The decision to ablate depends very much on the exact site and nature of your disease. Decisions to ablate or operate are taken by the cancer team, not by individuals. It is also dependant on your overall health as ablation is a hospital procedure that requires either general anaesthesia or deep sedation.
Cancer Ablation UK has amongst the most extensive experience in microwave ablation in the UK. Microwave ablation is particularly suited to the liver and has specific advantages over the older radiofrequency ablation procedure. We now use state of the art software to confirm treatment outcomes. All procedures are performed under general anaesthesia, not because the procedure is painful but largely to aid with precision targeting of the tumour.
You will be called back for a CT or MR study a few weeks after the ablation to confirm the tumour(s) has been destroyed.