Are there any side effects from radiofrequency ablation?

Radiofrequency oblation has the same side effects as burning an area of a tumor, says Tamara Sutton, director of cancer services at Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center. In this video, she explains the process of the procedure and side effects.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a relatively new technology most commonly used to remove abnormal tissues, particularly in patients with pre-cancerous cells in the esophagus caused by long standing reflux disease (Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia).Very few side effects occur from RFA, though many people may experience chest discomfort for 48-72 hours after the procedure. Although this will naturally subside, it can be treated with a soft diet and liquid pain medications. The overall complication rate from RFA in the esophagus is exceedingly low; however, the rare complications include narrowing of the esophagus (stricture) and bleeding. Thankfully, these side effects are usually managed conservatively with minimal intervention. In very rare cases, RFA can cause the abnormal superficial tissue to become buried in deeper layers of the esophagus.


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