Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) is a relatively new form of treatment for small kidney cancers. It is a procedure that is often carried out using local anaesthetic and sedation. The CT scanner is usually used to guide a small needle into the kidney tumour. The needle is connected to a machine that produces strong radio frequency (RF) waves that cause the tumour to heat up which kills the cancerous cells. Patients usually stay in overnight afterwards and can go home the next day.
The evidence shows that RFA is a very good treatment for small tumours with a lower complication rate than surgery. The cure rate is also excellent but slightly lower than surgery with some patients needing more than one treatment. Not all tumours are suitable for this sort of treatment and each case should be discussed with a multidisciplinary team prior to treatment.
You can see a short video of RF ablation below: