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HF 6691

Radiofrequency Ablation and Cryoablation

Your treatment will take place on_____________ at ___________.

Enter through the clinic entrance and follow the path to the Atrium elevators. Go to the third floor. Enter the Radiology Clinic on your right. Check in at the desk.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a way to treat tumors inside and around bone. RFA is less invasive than surgery. You will recover much faster. For your comfort, you will have general anesthesia.

When treating benign tumors, you will have RFA as an outpatient, meaning you will be able to go home that same day. There are times when patients will need to stay for one night, most often when the treatment is for a malignant tumor.

During the RFA, we place thin needles through the skin into the tumor. We send low level electric current through the needles into the tumor. The heat from the current destroys the tumor tissue.

Problems are rare, but include bleeding, infection, or damage to normal body parts nearby. The treatment area may be sore for a few days.

Cryoablation is another technique we use to treat tumors inside and around bone. We place thin needles through the skin into the tumor. We send extreme cold through the needles to freeze the tumor tissue. Major problems after the treatment are rare, and are the same as those from RFA.

The radiologist will decide which treatment, will work best for you.

  • Before Your Treatment

  • Tell us if you have allergies to medicines or x-ray dye (contrast).

  • Tell us if there is a chance you may be pregnant.

  • Tell us all the medicines you are taking.

  • If you take medicines which thin your blood (aspirin, ibuprofen, Coumadin,etc. ) we will ask you to stop taking them for 2-7 days before the treatment.

  • If you take insulin, take as advised by the nurse coordinator.

  • Tell us if you have a pacemaker, implanted defibrillator, joint replacements, bile duct stents, or if you have had bile duct or bowel surgery.

  • The nurse coordinator will call you the day before treatment (or on Friday before a Monday treatment) to tell you when to arrive and answer any questions.

  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before your treatment.

  • You will need to have someone drive you to and from the hospital. You cannot take a cab or other ride service.

The Procedure

Your treatment will last 2 to 6 hours. You will be in a CT scan room and you will have general anesthesia. Monitors will check your vitals. You will have an IV line placed in your arm for medicines and fluids. If the treatment takes a long time, we will place a catheter in your bladder.

After the Procedure

You will wake up in the recovery room where the nurses will check your vitals often. You may have mild pain at the treatment site. We will give you pain medicine if needed. You may have mild nausea. You will be able to drink and eat once you are fully awake.

Going Home
You may keep taking your prescribed medicines and pain pills when you go home. Drink extra fluids for the next few days.

When to Call

  • Severe pain around the site

  • Redness or swelling

  • White or yellow discharge

  • Foul smell

  • Fever over 101 F

  • Pain that doesn’t improve after 2 days

  • Nausea or vomiting that won’t go away

Who to Call

Musculoskeletal Nurse Coordinator
(608) 263-6871

Radiology Scheduling
Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm
(608) 263-9729

After clinic hours call (608) 262-0486 or (800) 323-8942 to reach the paging operator. Ask for the bone radiologist to be paged.

If you need help right away, call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.