Radiofrequency Ablation Treatment for Liver Cancer

At Henry Ford, we’re dedicated to providing you the safest, most effective treatment options to treat liver and gastrointestinal tumors. Our experienced, multidisciplinary team is made up of leaders in advanced, minimally invasive ablation therapies (procedures that destroy tumors using heat or cold) that work together to design innovative treatment plans tailored to you.

Ablation therapy at the Henry Ford Liver Disease Center

At Henry Ford, our team of specialists strives to design treatment plans using the least invasive options possible. We are considered a leader in liver disease care in the Midwest and are a major referral center for other hospitals in the region with patients in need of ablation therapies. Our ablation therapy program includes:

  • Experienced, multidisciplinary team: Our large, multidisciplinary team includes board-certified hepatologists (liver disease specialists), interventional radiologists (physicians specializing in minimally invasive treatments) and hepatobiliary surgeons (surgeons who specialize in procedures involving the liver, pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts) who have additional, rigorous fellowship training in their specialties.
  • Comprehensive, personalized care: Our team of specialists, called a tumor board, meets together weekly to discuss individual patient cases and to collectively decide on the best course of treatment for your health and circumstances. These tumor boards involve an average of 25 experts, discussing the full range of therapies available to customize care plans.
  • Strong collaboration with referring physicians: We work closely with your referring physician to keep everyone on the same page before, during, and after treatment. We stay in contact with your referring physician via cell phone.
  • Sophisticated ablation options: We offer the full range of advanced ablation therapies. These therapies significantly reduce post-operative pain and involve smaller incisions, shorter hospital stays and recovery time. Our ablation therapies include:
    • Radiofrequency ablation
    • Microwave ablation: Minimally invasive procedure using electromagnetic microwaves to heat and destroy tumors
    • Cryoablation

Radiofrequency ablation at Henry Ford

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure using heat to destroy liver tumors. It’s considered one of the safest, most effective treatments for liver cancers, especially in tumors previously considered inoperable.

At Henry Ford, our specialists performed Michigan’s first radiofrequency ablation treatment for liver disease. Before we pioneered this procedure in Michigan, there was no effective treatment for metastatic liver tumors (tumors that have spread from where they first started) available.

The procedure involves inserting a tiny needle-electrode into your liver while you are asleep under general anesthesia. It delivers an electrical current that quickly destroys cancerous cells and tissues. After you wake up, you can usually go home the same or next day and return to normal activity the next day.

Cryoablation for liver cancer

Cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure where your physician ablates (destroys) precancerous or cancerous tissue using extreme cold. Cryoablation is best for patients who cannot undergo surgery to treat their tumor.

During the procedure, your physician inserts a cryoprobe (similar to a large needle) into the tumor and freezes it using liquid nitrogen. After the procedure, the tumor thaws and is naturally absorbed away by the body. You will either go home the same day or stay in the hospital overnight.

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