MEMPHIS, TN May 1, 2009 - Microwave Ablation, a new minimally invasive procedure which destroys tumors, is now available at The West Clinic- the only cancer clinic in the Mid-South to offer this technology to patients. Similar to radiofrequency ablation, microwave ablation is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with inoperable liver, lung, and kidney tumors. This powerful, image-guided technology uses heat, generated by microwave energy to shrink and/or destroy tumors.
According to Dr. Tom Hodgkiss, Interventional Radiologist, “Microwave is the ‘new needle.’ Radiofrequency ablation works well, but one of the problems we noted while performing procedures for lung tumors was air surrounding the lesions. The needle used in radiofrequency ablation was not working as well as we would have liked because as the patient breathed, air would cool down the needle, interfering with the tissue heating properly, which is critical. This problem does not exist with microwave energy.”
The Evident™ Microwave Ablation System, developed by Covidien, is intended for coagulation of soft tissue during percutaneous, laparoscopic and open surgical procedures. Microwave energy emanates from the feed point of the radiating section of the antenna, causing coagulation of the tissue. The system then creates heat by generating friction through the vibration of water molecules. The microwave ablation procedure itself can take as little as 10 minutes or less.
Chemoembolization: In Conjunction with Ablation Procedures
The West Clinic is one of a select few groups in the Mid-South also using chemoembolization, a state-of-the art procedure whereby chemotherapy is loaded inside tiny beads. The beads are then transported from the groin, similar in fashion to a heart catheterization, into the liver’s blood vessel supply and released. The chemotherapy cuts off the blood supply to the tumors, and over the next two weeks the beads drift the chemotherapy into the liver.
According to Hodgkiss, “Chemoembolization is used when cancer moves to the liver. When a tumor is too large to do radiofrequency or microwave ablation, we perform chemoembolization first to dramatically decrease the blood supply to the tumor and obtain much higher levels of local chemotherapy. We then follow the chemoembolization with radiofrequency or microwave ablation. With the combination of these two procedures we are able to obtain much higher temperatures and subsequently treat larger tumors. We have seen great success with these treatments. Patients receive at least ten times the concentration of chemotherapy they would otherwise receive through traditional chemotherapy and without the side effects such as hair loss.”
“As a leader in cancer care, The West Clinic is pleased to offer our patients the most advanced treatments and procedures including microwave ablation. Patients, who previously were non-surgical candidates, now have another option, “states Steve Coplon, CEO. “ We are committed to leaving ‘No Stone Unturned’ in the treatment of each and every patient at The West Clinic.”
For additional information contact Deborah Coble, 901-683-0055 x 1312, or visit www.westclinic.com.