Microwave Ablation for Lung Cancer Treatment

CT ScreenWhile some tumors can be removed surgically, others are treated by alternative methods. One such method is ablation. Microwave ablation is the most recent development in the field of tumor ablation. This form of thermal ablation used in interventional radiology helps to treat cancer. With use of microwave energy, the tumor is destroyed using heat. There have been several studies using minimally invasive microwave ablation to treat lung cancer.

Preparing for Microwave Ablation

The patient should not eat or drink anything except water for four to six hours before the treatment. Doctors recommend taking water until two hours before.


The surgeon inserts a small port or open incision to access the tumor. A CT scan is used to pinpoint the exact location of tumor. A thin antenna which emits microwaves is inserted into the tumor. In microwave ablation, high microwave energy is used to kill cancer cells. It destroys the tumor that is blocking the airway. This allows the patient to breathe easily. It is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under the image guidance.


Microwave ablation comes over a number of benefits such as it is faster than radiofrequency ablation. It destroys tumors more efficiently and surgeons can ablate multiple tumors at the same time. Microwave ablation offers patients who may not be eligible for traditional surgical intervention with a non-surgical treatment for lung cancer.

Side Effects of Microwave Ablation

The common side effects associated with microwave ablation include soreness and pain, difficulty in breathing, blockage in airway again or blood in chest cavity. If the side effects prolong, you should contact your health care practitioner immediately.

The information shared in this blog is for educational purposes only.

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