Percutaneous CT and Ultrasound-Guided Tumor Ablation
You have been scheduled for an Ablation procedure. Please report to the Radiology desk (G3/3) by taking the Atrium elevators to the 3rd floor. Your procedure is scheduled on
_______________________________ at ___________________.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and Microwave Ablation are safe modalities for liver, lung, bone, kidney, and other tumors. It is less invasive than standard surgery. Recovery is much faster. It is done by the radiologist, who uses ultrasound and/or CT scan to guide the treatment. For your comfort, general anesthesia is used. You will stay in the hospital for one to two nights. During the treatment, long, thin needles are inserted through the skin into the tumor. Radiofrequency and Microwave are heat based methods used to treat tumors. They do this by using a low-level electrical magnetic field or current through the needles into the tumor. The heat from the current destroys the tumor tissue. It spares most of the normal tissue around the tumor. Sometimes sterile water is placed next to the tumor to protect other body parts from being burned. Problems after the treatment are rare, but can include bleeding or infection. Based on where your tumor is, other rare problems may include a collapsed lung, a bowel injury, kidney or liver failure.
Cryo-ablation is another technique used to treat kidney tumors. In Cryo-ablation, long thin needles are inserted through the skin into the tumor. Extreme cold is sent through them to freeze the tumor tissue. Sometimes sterile water is inserted for this treatment also. Your urology doctor will be working with the radiologist during this procedure.
The radiologist and your doctor will decide the best treatment modality to use for you.
Prior to the Procedure:
- Tell us if you have allergies to medicines, X-ray dye, crabs, or shellfish.
- Tell us if you are taking medicines which thin your blood (aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, vitamin E, fish oil, green tea, Coumadin®). You will be asked to stop taking them for at least 7 days before the procedure. If you have any questions as to the safety of stopping these medicines please talk to the doctor who ordered them for you.
- Bring a list of your current medicines with you the day of the procedure.
- You will be asked to take most of your prescriptions medicines as usual the morning of the procedure with a sip of water. If there are some you should not take, you will be told this either by your doctor or by the nurse that calls you before you come in.
- Tell us if you have a pacemaker, implanted defibrillator, joint replacements, bile duct stents, or have had bile duct or bowel surgery before, or have any other metal in your body if you are having radiofrequency ablation.
- Let us know if you have trouble with your joints, mainly your hips, shoulders, neck, or if you have had any neck or back surgeries.
Getting Ready for the Procedure:
Date Time Test
_______ _____ History and Physical (within 30 days) with ___________________
_______ _____ Blood work (within 30 days)
_______ _____ EKG (within 6 months)
_______ _____ Chest X-Ray (within 6 months)
_______ _____ Anesthesia Walk-In Clinic
_______ _____ Plan to hold Anti Coagulants
The Day before the Ablation
- Eat a light meal in the evening.
- Do not eat anything after midnight
The Morning of the Ablation
Do not eat anything before your treatment. Take your normal medicines with a sip of water. If you take insulin or oral diabetic medicines, do not take any this morning unless told to do so. Your blood sugar will be checked when you arrive at the hospital. Certain blood pressure medicines may also need to be held. The staff person who performs your history and physical will discuss this with you.
Your ablation will last 2 to 4 hours. It will be done in a CT scan room. You will lie down on a CT scan table. An anesthesiologist will give you general anesthesia. Monitors will check your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level. A catheter will be placed in your bladder. You will wake up again in the recovery room.
After the Procedure
Plan to stay in the hospital overnight. You will be watched closely with vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature) taken often. It is normal to have mild pain at the treatment site. You may have an IV pump with pain medicine that you will control yourself attached to your IV. There are many times that this is not needed. The nurse can also bring you Tylenol® for pain. Stronger medicines are ordered if you need them. You may have mild nausea. There are medicines ordered to treat this if you have it. When you are fully awake, you will be able to drink and eat. Most of the time, the Foley catheter is left in overnight after kidney ablations to watch urine output.
You may have flu-like symptoms within 3-7 days. Be sure to drink extra fluids such as water or juice for the next few days to help reduce these symptoms. Most often, these flu-like symptoms only last about 24 hours.
A CT or MRI scan needs to be done at one, three, six, and twelve months after the ablation to see the progress of the ablation zone. The doctor who referred you will order this. You will have follow-up scans for at least a year.
Please call if you have:Severe pain around the site.
- Temperature greater than 101° F.
- Pain that is not controlled with oral medicine.
- Nausea or vomiting that won’t go away.
- Numbness around the site.
Radiology nurse 8:00 am to 4:30 pm weekdays, 608-265-1967
Urology clinic (kidney) 8:00 am to 4:30 pm weekdays, (608) 263-4757
After hours, call the UW Hospital Paging Operator at (608) 262-0486. Ask for the radiology doctor who did your ablation. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area code. A doctor or nurse will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 08/01/2012
Copyright © 08/01/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5469
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