3 The procedure

3 The procedure

3.1 Microwave ablation aims to destroy tumour cells and create localised areas of tissue necrosis with minimal damage to surrounding normal tissues. The potential benefits of the procedure compared with other thermoablative therapies such as radiofrequency ablation include the possibility of treating larger tumours and greater tumour volumes because of the convection profile and the higher intratumoural temperatures that may be achieved.

3.2 The procedure can be performed using local anaesthesia and sedation or with the patient under general anaesthesia, usually by a percutaneous approach. A probe is advanced into each targeted lesion under imaging guidance and the tumour ablated by delivering high-frequency microwave energy. Patients with larger tumours or multiple lesions may receive more than 1 pulse of energy at 1 treatment session. Electrodes may deliver energy through more than 1 needle.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)