Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radio waves to destroy cancer cells and shrink tumors. RFA is often used to treat cancer that causes pain and is considered a treatment option if surgery is not a good option. 

When is the procedure recommended?

RFA is often recommended when surgical removal of a benign or malignant tumor is not an option. It can also be used to treat a range of conditions, including:
  • Chronic venous insufficiency in the legs
  • Chronic back and neck pain
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Cancers in the adrenal gland, breast, bone, kidney, liver, lung, or pancreas
  • Facet joint, discogenic and radicular back pain
  • Sacroiliac disease
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia
  • Post-amputation pain
  • Post inguinal herniorrhaphy pain

How is the procedure performed?

During the procedure, a needle-like probe is inserted into the body under imaging guidance, and radio waves are sent out from the probe into the surrounding tissue. In treatment of tumors, the radio waves cause the nearby cells to die and then the immune system removes the dead cells. The dead tumor shrinks and is replaced by scar tissue overtime and may eventually disappear.  In treatment of chronic pain, the radio waves to create a current that heats a small area of nerve tissue. The heat destroys that area of the nerve, stopping it from sending pain signals to the brain. 

What are the benefits?

  • Provides immediate pain relief that lasts for up to two years, depending on the patient's situation
  • Reduced need for oral pain medications
  • Improves mobility and function, allowing patients to return to work and other activities more quickly
  • Minimally invasive with low risk to the patient


Back to IR Services