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What is the ablation treatment?

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Quick Answer

Ablation treatment is a therapy doctors use to destroy abnormal tissue for a variety of health conditions, according to Mayo Clinic. One of the benefits of ablation treatment is that it is minimally invasive.

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Full Answer

Doctors start ablation therapy by inserting flexible tubes, probes or energy beams, Mayo Clinic explains. Imaging techniques guide the doctor to the treatment area. The doctor uses heat, extreme cold, lasers or chemicals to destroy the abnormal tissue. Using heat is called radiofrequency ablation, while using extreme cold is called cryoablation.

Ablation treatment allows doctors to treat abnormal tissue while preserving the healthy tissue around it, Mayo Clinic states. Because it is minimally invasive, patients may heal faster than if they have conventional surgery. Ablation therapy can also lower risk and pain associated with surgery.

Examples of conditions in which ablation treatment can be effective include destroying small tumors or heart tissue that is causing an irregular beat, Mayo Clinic reports. Cardiac ablation scars tissue in the heart experiencing faulty electrical activity, according to MedlinePlus. Doctors use radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation, depending on the type of abnormal heart rhythm.

Ablation techniques destroy certain types of liver cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Doctors choose from cryoablation, radiofrequency ablation, alcohol ablation and microwave thermotherapy, which sends microwaves from probes to heat cancerous tissue.

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