Ablation therapy is a type of minimally invasive procedure used to remove abnormal tissue that occurs with some heart conditions, blood vessel (vascular) conditions, reproductive conditions and cancer.

In ablation therapy, doctors may perform procedures using probes inserted through the skin, flexible tubes (catheters) inserted through an artery or energy beams to reach the area being treated. Doctors usually use imaging techniques to guide ablation. Doctors then injure or destroy (ablate) abnormal tissue using heat (radiofrequency ablation), extreme cold (cryoablation), lasers or a chemical.

Ablation therapy may spare healthy tissue and lower the risks and discomforts of open surgery. You may have a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery after ablation therapy compared to open surgery. Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of ablation therapy and determine whether ablation is an appropriate treatment option for you.

Nov. 26, 2012