Microwave ablation is an outpatient treatment that uses electromagnetic waves to create heat and directs the heat through a needle probe which is inserted into a collection of abnormal cells or tumor. The needle probe is inserted into the tumor using CT or Ultrasound guidance. Depending on the size of the tumor, microwave ablation can shrink or kill the tumor, extend the patient’s survival time and greatly improve their quality of life while living with cancer. This procedure can often be repeated if the cancer comes back (recurs), or if the tumor has an incomplete response.
At the end of the procedure, there are typically one to two small incisions on the skin that are covered with a small bandage and no sutures. The patient is discharged home within 3-4 hours after the procedure.
Expected Side Effects
Most patients have few side effects following microwave ablation. Listed below are a few common complaints from patients.
- Treatment site pain for a few days following treatment. This usually does not require more than a few days of prescription pain medicine and many patients only use over-the-counter pain medication.
- Mild fatigue for a few days following treatment.
- A sore throat or mild “hangover” type feeling for a day or two from the general anesthesia. This may include mild nausea.
We have follow up appointments scheduled with labs and imaging at customized intervals and are available by phone 24/7 for any issues that may arise.