Cancer diagnosis and treatment at West Cancer Center involves a team of experts in multiple specialties. This multidisciplinary, team-based approach provides the net comfort to our patients that they are going to receive the best care available, right here in Memphis. 

What is a Radiofrequency Ablation?

When a cancerous tumor is directly burned to prevent or slow down growth. The tumor is located using CAT scan guidance. The area will be cleaned and the radiologist will numb the area with a local anesthetic. The local anesthetic is like a shot from the dentist. In most cases, you will be given IV (intravenous) medication, but you WILL NOT be put to sleep. The radiologist will use the CAT scan machine to guide him directly to the site of treatment. You may feel pressure during the procedure and your body temperature will increase therefore you will feel very hot. The procedure usually takes approximately 2 to 3 hours. You will spend a minimum of 2 hours in our recovery room. If complications arise such as uncontrolled nausea / vomiting or pain you may spend the night in the hospital for observation.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

  1. No solid food after midnight the night before your procedure. Clear liquids are allowed the morning of the procedure unless told otherwise. This includes: water, tea, broth, popsicles, and coffee without cream, 7-up, apple juice, or white cranberry juice. NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES.
  2. Your arrival time is 1 ½ hours prior to your procedure. We will need the additional time to do the necessary lab tests, start an IV, ask pre-procedural questions and do a nursing assessment.
  3. Wear comfortable clothes.
  4. You will need to recover in a bed at our facility for a minimum of 4 hours. You may want to bring a change of clothes just in case you spend the night in the hospital.
  5. You will need someone to drive you home. You will not be allowed to drive yourself home. If you do not have a ride home your procedure will be rescheduled. You cannot use public transportation.

Medication Instructions for all Interventional Procedures:

  1. You must be off your blood thinners for 5 days prior to procedure. These medications include aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin (Warfarin), and Pletal.
  2. If you are on any of these medicines, please inform the doctor that prescribed them before stopping them.
  3. Please notify west clinic nurse or doctor if they are not aware you are taking these medicines.
  4. If you have any questions regarding your meds, including if they are blood thinners, please call 901-922-6707.
  5. Take any additional routine medications the day of the procedure. If you are on insulin ask your doctor about any adjustments that may be needed.

You will need someone to drive you home. You will not be allowed to drive yourself or take public transportation.

Printable Instructions

To print a copy of these instruction, click here for a printable PDF.