Thermal Ablation

During your percutaneous thermal ablation, the interventional radiologist will insert a probe through into the target tumor using CT (cat scan) and/or US (ultrasound) guidance. Once in the target, the probe will emit microwaves in order to burn the tumor. We may also take a biopsy during the procedure. The procedure usually takes about 1 hour.

Before your procedure
Before the procedure, you will have an IV line placed in your arm. You may get medication through your IV that will make you feel drowsy or may put you to sleep. The medication will control pain and anxiety.  

During your procedure
We will take a CT scan or ultrasound in the area of concern. The interventional radiologist will then draw a mark on your skin with a washable marker.  

The area where the probe will go will be cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic (lidocaine/novocaine). There are generally no incisions larger than the needle hole.

The interventional radiologist will control the temperature and timing of the tissue heating in order to maximize tumor destruction while minimizing damage to surrounding normal tissues.

When the procedure is over the interventional radiologist will remove the probe and place skin glue (Dermabond®) or a bandage over the area.

After your procedure
You will stay in our recovery area for between 2 or 3 hours to make sure you are fully awake and feeling well following the procedure.

You may have some discomfort in the area of the ablation. This should get better in 3-5 days and may be relieved with medication.

Caring for your access site
Do not get the area wet for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can shower, but should still avoid getting the site wet.  You should not take a bath or swim for at least 1 week.

For 5 days after your procedure, don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds and do not engage in any rigorous exercise. You may do usual light activities after 24 hours.

Don’t pick or scratch the Dermabond. It will come off on its own.

Call your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • A fever of 100.4 °F (38.3 °C) or higher.

  • Uncontrolled pain, nausea, or vomiting that’s worse than it was before your treatment.

  • Redness, swelling, or pain around the area where the probe was placed.


Our mission at NY Imaging Specialists is to provide the highest-quality advanced imaging in a patient-centered and compassionate environment, with the comfort and convenience of being close to home.

To schedule an appointment by phone call 833-269-4624.