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Scheduled for Microwave ablation, Need information

KarenMG's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 2017

What a week! Waited a week for the Radiologist that I had a consult with to call. I did speak with him on Tuesday, after his office cancelled my appt to talk to him on Monday. He previously had talked about me having the Y90 treatment. Then on speaking with him Tues, he decided to go for the ablation, evidently had emailed my Oncologist. They evidently emailed back and forth, no discussion with me about it. He still has not gotten me info, he promised to email some links or info about ablations. His office gives me different info than he does. Such as that I would be put under general anesthesia and not just conscious sedation. I cannot seem to get him to tell me after effects of any procedure, he seems to minimize them but then says I may need a PCA pain pump and 23 hour observation in the hospital. His office actually told me to "Google" microwave ablation. Seriously?

All this makes me feel like I'm in some alternate universe...aka the twilight zone. I know that I am having severe anxiety due to trying to not take Ativan, it had a terrible effect on me due to having had issues with benzos previously. I cannot take antidepresants either. Not one thing to help me relax or sleep. Which makes this all so much worse.

Does everyone get this treatment from Doctors about procedures and such? I have to think they do and as a retired nurse, I think it's hideous and unacceptable. I however have no choice but to go along with the program. It is making me crazy for sure. Also the radiologist had said he would "fast track" me. My ablation is scheduled for March 12th. Almost a month away. Meanwhile, these tumors are growing rapidly.

Anyhow, I just would love to hear of anyone's experience with this and where to find out more about ablations. I cannot believe that my brain is so fuzzy that I can't even seem to find this online. Not sure what exactly has happen to my poor brain but I am very dysfunctional anymore. I am blaming it on severe anxiety and continued dysfunctional family relationships that I have, that also make it worse. What else can I do but try to hang in here and fight? I have to keep fighting for sure.

Thanks all...wish me luck.

Much love,


Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5513
Joined: Jan 2013

I had a microwave thermal ablation back in 2014 (its so good to say 'back in'). I have been NED every since - just had my latest scans, and waiting for results -

So, this is how it went down for me.  

I know I should remember, but I 'think' I had mine done under Propofol, because I was released the same day, and I honestly don't think I would have been released if I had had a general anesthetic. 

I checked in the hospital, got the IV and was wheeled to to OR (after my insurance called the hospital to say they wouldn't cover the procedure - but thats a different and longer story).  

Nex thing I knew, I was being coaxed out of my stupor. Wait, I remember a sore throat. Maybe I did have a general anesthetic. Sorry to be so forgetful on that part. 

They had me in recovery about three hours, and then I was released. I was shocked that they would let me go home (160 miles from the hospital), but off I went. I felt pretty good, and was obvioulsly able to walk. 

I had three small incisions (one extra because they also removed my appendix, which was looking a little weird), two around the liver and one down by the appendix. I was on the pain killers that night, so really didn't feel much, and slept well. 

I was able to get up and walk about, slowly, the next day. Popped a pain killer when I felt too uncomfortable. Same for the follwoing day. I remember thinking it was quite painful, so I really should have been taking the pain killers regularly as perscribed, but hating pills, I waited. 

By the third day I wondered if I could go out for my morning three mile walk, and called to check with the surgeon's nurse. She chewed my head off, in a polite way, telling me I had just had surgery on my liver and I was to 'take it easy'.  So, I felt good enough to want to walk, by the third day. 

I don't know for sure, but I think I may have started doing things a bit too soon, becasue I can feel my tumour, which I am told is a ball of charcoal, in my liver. I may have damaged the delicate tissue around the burned area and casued more scar tissue. I guess I will never know, so heed my advice, and be gentle with yourself for a while, even if you feel fine.

If I do certain things, certain motions like vacuuming or sweeping or scrubbing, it statrs to twinge allot. Not pain as such, but it lets me know it is there. I'm guessing scar tissue is involved. 

I still think I recovered very quickly from the surgery/procedure. It was allot less invasive than the bowel resection, thats for sure.

I too believe they don't give out as much information as they should. Its like 'off you go' and leave you to it.

I wish you well.  As I mentioned above, it has been working for me, and praying it continues to do so. 


lizard44's picture
Posts: 409
Joined: Apr 2015

for  my liver tumor in 2016, prior to the surgery to remove the  primary  rectal tumor.  I had general anesthesia, propofol, midazolam and Fentanyl Citrate, plus a muscle relaxer, anticoagulant, ani-nausea and  antibacterial meds,  and  was kept in the hospital overnight for  observation.   I was a little sore for a few days but had no major problems afterwards that I can recall. I don't know if this site will help answer some of your questions, but   I hope it will and I also hope the link works.: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=rfaliver

Good luck with your procedure-I hope all goes well.



JanJan63's picture
Posts: 2482
Joined: Sep 2014

I hope it works well for you! I'd love to have the option but apparently here in Canada they don't use it for colon cancer tumours. Maybe someday. 


KarenMG's picture
Posts: 109
Joined: Jun 2017

Thanks all and thanks so much for the link lizard! It was very helpful!

Trubit, I thought this would be a totally non-invasive procedure! LOL Surprised

Oh well, I read that they just use a large needle? I will find out for sure.

Sorry Jan that it is not available for you.

Hugs all



Trubrit's picture
Posts: 5513
Joined: Jan 2013

I was told they used two paddles - they must be relativly small, as the incisions were only about an inch or so big, one each side of the tumour, and then press the button and zap the living daylights out of it. 

EDIT: I just pulled up some pictures. It looks like a probe; like a good sized pen. 

I'm remembering more. In one of the incisions, They use some kind of ultrasound paddle that guides them as they insert the 'needle' to the tumour. 


PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I've had that procedure done around 8 times over the years. My team at MSKCC kept me in the loop the entire time. I met with the radiologist who was going to perform the procedure and he answered all of my questions. For the 1st ablation, I stayed in the hospital overnight. For the others, I went home the same day.
I had no issues with the procedure at all as far as pain went.
I hope things go well for you.

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