laparoscopic surgery home page/ laparoscopic liver surgery home page/ laparoscopic liver surgery for: (i) liver resection for tumors,
(ii) liver cysts, (iii) radiofrequency ablation,
(iv) hepatic artery chemotherapy infusion

Removal of cancer of the liver by surgical means is the treatment of choice. In many patients surgery is not possible because of the extent of the tumor or the presence of cirrhosis that poses an excessive risk of liver failure after the surgery. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a procedure used to destroy (kill) liver cancer.

RFA is frequently an option in patients in whom surgical removal of the tumor is not an option. Radiofrequency ablation is a safe and well tolerated procedure that is associated with few complications.RFA is not currently viewed as curative procedure, rather is a procedure that could lead to increased survivability and quality of life.

All patients being considered for RFA should be evaluated by an experienced liver surgeon first since surgical removal of the tumor is the best approach.

What is radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency ablation begins with the passing of alternating electrical current (radiofrequency energy) through the tumor tissue (lesion). Heat is generated at the site of the lesion by this alternating current. This heat produces coagulation and cellular destruction (necrosis or death), resulting in ablation (destruction) of the tumor tissue.With the newer RFA devices the thermal energy (heat) is evenly distributed to the lesion in a consistent manner, causing consistent and complete tumor cell destruction.

How does it work?

Using intraoperative imaging of the tumor with ultrasound, an electrode is positioned strategically within the lesion. Then, the electrode is connected to a unique radiofrequency generator and electrical current is delivered into the tissue. As the cells are heated, they are destroyed. The mechanism of RFA is similar to that of a microwave oven, heating from the inside out. The body eliminates the destroyed tumor cells over a period of time.

How is the procedure performed?

RFA may be performed through an open surgical incision or via laparoscopy. Laparoscopy (also referred to as minimally invasive surgery) is performed through multiple, small skin incisions. At USC Dilip Parekh M.D. has developed specialized techniques for performing RFA by laparoscopic surgery. All patients are evaluated for the laparoscopic approach. Open surgery is performed uncommonly for RFA. Your doctor will discuss the best approach for your particular case.

Contact information: USC Center for Pancreatic and Biliary Diseases
1510 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles, CA
1-855-724-7874 dde-mail:
Programs: pancreatic cancer, pancreatitis, laparoscopic surgery, endocrine surgery,
biliary surgery

This web site provides select information about pancreatic and biliary disorders and is updated twice monthly. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical consultation with your physician.It is important that you consult with your physician for detailed information about your medical condition and treatment.The center will make every effort to update the site, however, past performance is no guarantee of future medical outcomes.
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