EMRC offers new procedure for soft tissue lesions

Published 2:42 pm Thursday, March 2, 2023


Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center is now offering microwave ablation and cryoablation as treatments for cancer and pain. Microwave ablation uses microwave energy to generate heat to kill and shrink tumor cells. Cryoablation freezes the target tissue to kill tumor cells. These are minimally-invasive procedures that offer many benefits to patients with cancer and pain.

“Investing in and implementing these technologies demonstrates our commitment to providing the best treatment options for patients in our community while improving clinical outcomes and the quality of life for patients in our community.” said Dr. Cameron Henzman, Interventional Radiologist at EMRMC.

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Dr. Henzman is a board-certified interventional and diagnostic radiologist who joined Ephraim McDowell Health in August 2022. His practice includes diagnosing and treating disease using medical imaging and minimally-invasive techniques.

Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center is performing microwave ablation procedures with the NEUWAVE Microwave Ablation System. The cryoablation procedures use the Boston Scientific ICEFx system. These innovative systems allow physicians to ablate lesions of many shapes and sizes with consistency and control. They include probes that are designed for lesions in challenging locations where non-target tissues or structures need to be protected. The system also allows for multiple probes to be activated simultaneously, to reduce the risk of incomplete ablations while reducing the procedure time.

Both ablation systems will be used locally for patients with liver, kidney or lung cancer. Patients benefit from the procedure because it is less painful than an open surgery to remove a tumor, it can ease the pain caused by a tumor, and it carries a low risk for complications. In addition, patients tolerate the procedure well and can return to their normal routine within a few days.

A microwave ablation procedure lasts one to two hours with only five to 10 minutes of ablation time. Cryoablation lasts two to three hours with approximately 20-30 minutes of treatment time. This allows many patients to leave the hospital the same day as the procedure with only a bandage at the probe insertion point.

“We are excited to be offering this new, innovative technology to patients in our community,” said Doug Ruggles, system director of Diagnostic Services, Ephraim McDowell Health. “Our goal is to provide advanced technologies to our patients. Microwave ablation and cryoablation are the latest state-of-the-art technologies in which we have invested.”