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Tumour ablation is a procedure to shrink a liver tumour. It may be done in several ways, such as by sending heat, cold, or chemicals into the tumour.
The doctor will insert a special needle called a probe into your skin on the right side of your belly near your ribs. You may feel pain in your shoulder for a few seconds when the probe goes into your liver. This is called referred pain. It is caused by pain travelling along a nerve near the liver.
You may feel some pain in your belly when the doctor uses the probe. The doctor may repeat the procedure from a different angle to make sure that all areas of the tumour are treated.
After the procedure, the doctor will remove the probe. The doctor or nurse will put a bandage over your skin where the probe was inserted. You will probably go home on the same day as the procedure.
The chemicals, heat, or cold make the tumour shrink. Bit by bit, the tumour will be replaced with scar tissue over the next few months. This should not affect your liver's ability to do its job.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect, and it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Adaptation Date: 3/1/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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