Percutaneous CT and Ultrasound-Guided Tumor Ablation
You have been scheduled for an Ablation procedure. Please report to the Radiology desk (G3/3)
by taking the Atrium elevators to the 3rd floor. Your procedure is scheduled on
_______________________________ at ___________________.
We will be using Microwave Ablation to treat your liver, lung, bone, kidney, and other tumors.
It is much less invasive than standard surgery. Recovery time is much faster. It is done by the
radiologist, who uses ultrasound and/or CT scan to guide the treatment. For your comfort,
general anesthesia is used. You will stay overnight in the hospital for one night. During the
treatment, long, thin needles are inserted through the skin into the tumor. Microwave ablation is
a heat based method used to treat tumors. They do this by using microwave current through the
needles into the tumor. The heat from the current destroys the tumor tissue. It spares most of the
normal tissue around the tumor. Sometimes sterile water is placed next to the tumor to protect
other body parts from being burned. Problems after the treatment are rare, but can include
bleeding or infection. Based on where your tumor is, other rare problems may include a
collapsed lung, a bowel injury, kidney or liver failure.
Cryo-ablation is another technique used to treat kidney tumors. In Cryo-ablation, long thin
needles are inserted through the skin into the tumor. Extreme cold is sent through them to freeze
the tumor tissue. Sometimes sterile water is inserted for this treatment also. Your urology
doctor will be working with the radiologist during this procedure.
The radiologist and your doctor will decide the best treatment modality to use for you.
Prior to the Procedure:
Tell us if you have allergies to medicines, X-ray dye, crabs, or shellfish.
Tell us if you are taking medicines which thin your blood (aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin or
warfarin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, fish oil ). You will be asked to stop taking them 5-7
days before the procedure. Please do NOT stop these medicines without talking to the
doctor who ordered them for you.
If you are taking aspirin you will be asked to STAY ON your 81mg aspirin or decrease
your 325mg dose to 81mg if you have any cardiac or vascular stents in your body. The
ablation nurse will discuss this with you.
Bring a list of your current medicines with you the day of the procedure.
You will be asked to take most of your prescription medicines as usual the morning of the
procedure with a sip of water. If there are some you should not take, you will be told this
either by your doctor or by the nurse that calls you before you come in.
Let us know if you have trouble with your joints, mainly your hips, shoulders, neck, or if you
have had any neck or back surgeries.
Getting Ready for the Procedure:
Date Time Test
_______ _____ History and Physical (within 30 days) with ___________________
_______ _____ Blood work (within 30 days)
_______ _____ EKG (within 6 months)
_______ _____ Chest X-Ray (within 6 months)
_______ _____ Anesthesia Walk-In Clinic
_______ _____ Plan to hold Anti Coagulants
The Day before the Ablation
Do not eat anything after midnight
Hold any medications that were discussed with you to not take the night before the
The Morning of the Ablation
Do not eat anything before your treatment. Take your normal medicines with a sip of water. If
you take insulin or oral diabetic medicines, do not take any this morning unless told to do so.
Your blood sugar will be checked when you arrive at the hospital. Certain blood pressure
medicines may also need to be held. The staff person who performs your history and physical
will discuss this with you.
Your ablation will last 2 to 4 hours. It will be done in a CT scan room. You will lie down on a
CT scan table. An anesthesiologist will give you general anesthesia. Monitors will check your
blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level. A catheter may be placed in your bladder. You will
wake up again in the recovery room.
After the Procedure
Plan to stay in the hospital overnight. You will be watched closely with vital signs (blood
pressure, heart rate, temperature) taken often. It is normal to have mild pain at the treatment site.
You may have an IV pump with pain medicine that you will control yourself attached to your IV.
There are many times that this is not needed. The nurse can also bring you Tylenol® or
Ibuprofen for pain. Stronger medicines are ordered if you need them. You may have mild
nausea. There are medicines ordered to treat this if you have it. When you are fully awake, you
will be able to drink and eat. If you have a bladder catheter placed for the procedure it will be
removed as soon as possible after the procedure.
You may have flu-like symptoms within 3-7 days. Be sure to drink extra fluids such as water or
juice for the next few days to help reduce these symptoms. Most often, these flu-like symptoms
only last about 24- 48 hours.
A CT or MRI scan needs to be done at one, three, six, and twelve months after the ablation to see
the progress of the ablation zone. The doctor who referred you will order this. You will have
follow-up scans for at least a year.
Please call if you have:
Severe pain around the site.
Temperature greater than 101° F.
Pain that is not controlled with oral medicine.
Nausea or vomiting that won’t go away.
Numbness around the site.
Radiology nurse 8:00 am to 4:30 pm weekdays, 608-265-1967
Urology clinic (kidney) 8:00 am to 4:30 pm weekdays, (608) 263-4757
After hours, call the UW Hospital Paging Operator at (608) 262-0486. Ask for the radiology
doctor who did your ablation. Give the operator your name and phone number with the area
code. A doctor or nurse will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8942.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©9/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5469.