Ablation therapy is a type of minimally invasive procedure doctors use to destroy abnormal tissue that occurs with many conditions. For example, a doctor might use an ablation procedure to treat a small kidney tumor or to destroy (ablate) a small amount of heart tissue that's causing abnormal heart rhythms.
Doctors trained in imaging (radiologists), heart specialists (cardiologists) and other specialists perform ablation therapy. They may use probes inserted through the skin, flexible tubes (catheters) inserted through an artery or energy beams. Mapping and imaging techniques are used to guide the ablation. The abnormal tissue is injured or destroyed with heat (radiofrequency ablation), extreme cold (cryoablation), lasers or a chemical.
Mayo Clinic's approach
April 21, 2017
- Catheter ablation. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ablation/. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) laser surgery. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Radiofrequency/microwave tumor ablation. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Sharp HT. An overview of endometrial ablation. http://www.uptodate.com. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
- Cryosurgery in cancer treatment: Questions and answers. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/cryosurgery/. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
- Calkins H, et al. 2012 HRS/EHRA/ECAS expert consensus statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation: Recommendations for patient selection, procedural techniques, patient management and follow-up, definitions, endpoints, and research trial design. A Report of the Heart Rhythm Society Task Force on Catheter and Surgical Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation. Heart Rhythm. 2012;9:632.
- Stewart EA. Overview of treatment of uterine leiomyomas (fibroids). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
- Spechler SJ, et al. Barrett's esophagus. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;371:836.
- AskMayoExpert. Percutaneous tumor ablation. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.
- How is cardiomyopathy treated? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/cm/treatment.html. Accessed Dec. 13, 2016.
- AskMayoExpert. Varicose veins. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2016.