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Microwave Ablation

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Microwave ablation use microwave energy (created by electromagnetic radiation) to heat up and destroy (ablate) diseased tissues. It is commonly used to treat:

The interventional radiology experts at the University of Miami Health System use imaging technology to perform this procedure and ensure only cancerous tissue is harmed, while keeping healthy tissue intact.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists and radiology specialists are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®.

Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.

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Who is a Candidate? 

Your doctor may recommend microwave ablation if you cannot undergo surgical cancer treatment because the tumor is too difficult to reach or your health makes surgery too risky. 

You may also receive microwave ablation as part of palliative care to shrink tumors and ease cancer symptoms like pain.

Microwave ablation can also be given along with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or even other surgeries to improve the effectiveness of cancer care.

What to Expect

Your doctor may tell you not to eat or take certain medications, like aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) before your procedure. Always tell your doctor what medicines you are taking, including vitamins or herbs.

During microwave ablation, you will be sedated or under general anesthesia, meaning you will be asleep during the procedure. Your doctor will also apply local anesthetic (numbing at the site of the procedure) to the area being treated so you won’t feel pain.

Once you are numbed, your doctor will use imaging technology, like computed tomography (CT) scans, to locate the cancer cells. They will then insert a needle into the cancer cells. After the needle is in place, electromagnetic waves flow through the needle and heat up the cells to destroy them. 

After your doctor has destroyed as many cancer cells as possible, they will remove the needle and put a bandage or dressing on the injection site. Altogether, your procedure may take 30 minutes or a few hours, depending on how many areas need to be ablated (destroyed). You may be able to return home a few hours after surgery. You can typically resume normal activities within a few days.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.