Overview

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