Mayo Clinic doctors use several types of ablation therapy to treat many conditions. Your doctor will evaluate you to determine whether ablation may be appropriate for you. Doctors trained in imaging (radiologists) and others perform ablation therapy.
Mayo Clinic doctors perform many types of ablation therapy, including:
- Cardiac ablation. Cardiac ablation treats several heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias), including atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, tachycardia, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and ventricular tachycardia. In cardiac ablation, doctors insert long, flexible tubes (catheters) in a blood vessel in your arm, groin or neck and thread them through your blood vessels to your heart. Doctors then apply heat (radiofrequency energy) or extreme cold (cryoablation) to destroy abnormal heart tissue causing your heart rhythm disorder.
- Cryoablation. Doctors use extreme cold (cryoablation) to freeze and destroy cancer cells and other abnormal cells. Cryoablation may be used to treat kidney tumors, liver cancer, prostate cancer, some arrhythmias and other conditions. Doctors also may use cryoablation to help relieve bone tumor pain.
- Endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation reduces heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia). Doctors use heat, cold, laser or other methods to destroy the tissue that lines the uterus (endometrium).
- Endovenous thermal ablation. Endovenous thermal ablation may be used to treat varicose veins. In endovenous thermal ablation, doctors use heat or lasers to shrink and close varicose veins.
- Focused ultrasound ablation. Focused ultrasound ablation treats uterine fibroids. During magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), doctors guide ultrasound beams to the fibroids to heat and destroy fibroids in small sections.
- Laser ablation. Laser ablation, including laser photoselective vaporization and holmium laser ablation of the prostate, may treat prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and other prostate conditions. In this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin tube with an optical system (cystoscope) into your urethra. Your doctor then delivers laser energy to the affected area to destroy the tissue.
- Radiofrequency ablation. Doctors use heat (radiofrequency ablation) to destroy (ablate) cancer cells or other abnormal cells. Radiofrequency ablation may treat kidney tumors, liver cancer, lung cancer, islet cell cancer, adrenal cancer, Barrett's esophagus, some types of arrhythmias, prostate enlargement (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and other conditions. Doctors also may use radiofrequency ablation to help relieve bone tumor pain and arthritis-related back pain.
- Septal ablation. Doctors may use septal ablation to treat abnormal thickening of your heart muscle (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). In septal ablation, your doctor injects an alcohol solution into an artery supplying the thickened heart tissue to destroy part of the heart tissue.
Read more about cardiac ablation, cryotherapy for prostate cancer, endometrial ablation, focused ultrasound for uterine fibroids, prostate laser surgery and transurethral needle ablation (TUNA).