Thermal ablation of lung tumors

Thermal percutaneous ablation of lung tumors is a minimally invasive therapeutic procedure, which is performed with a special needle that generates heat at the tip of an area of ​​several centimeters and thus destroys the tumor tissue.

The needle is introduced through a small opening, without the need for a large incision in the chest, and is introduced precisely under CT control to the tumor, which is then treated with heat, in order to destroy it and achieve the same effect as surgical removal.

When can percutaneous thermal ablation of lung tumors be performed?

Lung cancer is the most common malignant disease in men and the third most common in women, while at the same time it is the leading cause of death among all malignant diseases.

In the Republic of Croatia, lung cancer is the most common cause of malignant disease in men with a share of 18% and is the third in the list of individual causes of death after acute myocardial infarction and cerebrovascular insult. In women, lung cancer is the third most common malignant disease, after breast and colon cancer, with a share of 8% of all diagnosed malignant diseases, while it ranks first in terms of mortality from malignant diseases. Along with the liver, the lungs are also the most common site of metastases in the body.

When primary lung cancer or lung metastases are detected and confirmed, there are several treatment options, including chemotherapy, radiation, surgical removal of the tumor, or minimally invasive thermal ablation.

Who is ablation intended for?

Ablation is a treatment option for patients with primary tumors or metastases up to 4 cm in size. It is a particularly suitable type of therapy for patients who, due to other diseases, previous operations or poor lung capacity, are not ideal candidates for surgery.

The advantage of ablation is a shorter recovery, a lower risk of intervention and the possibility of repeating it at several locations in the organ if the disease returns later in another place in the lungs or at the site of an earlier intervention.

What does thermal ablation of lung tumors include?

Percutaneous thermal ablation of lung tumors is a minimally invasive method, which means that it is performed by guiding a needle with a diameter of about 1.5-2 mm precisely to the tumor under CT control. After that, with an ablation needle for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the tumor, heat of about 100 degrees thermally destroys tumor tissue. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and sedation with the patient lying down.

How to prepare?

When making an appointment for ablation, the patient receives information from the specialist interventional radiologist about the procedure, possible advantages and risks, as well as written instructions on preparation (instructions on laboratory findings that need to be done, on antibiotic protection - prophylaxis and on the procedure if anticoagulant therapy is taken).

The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia and lasts about 60 minutes.

After the procedure, the patient remains in the ward for 24 hours for observation in order to rule out complications.


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