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First-In-the-World Microwave Ablation Burns Away Liver Tumors

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CLEVELAND, Ohio. (WGEM) — This year, over 40,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with liver cancer.

The gold standard for treating large malignant liver tumors is resection — cutting the tumor and the surrounding liver out of the body.

Now, details on the first hospital in the world to perform a new microwave ablation technique that is burning away tennis ball-sized tumors.

For many patients with large liver tumors—the standard treatment is cutting it out, an option that can be traumatic and take a long time to recover.

Now, Cleveland Clinic is the first hospital in the world to use newly FDA approved ablation technology that delivers 150-watts of microwave energy with a single needle.

Surgeons start this minimally invasive procedure by making two small incisions in the upper abdomen. Then ...

“We insert this special camera, that we can look inside,” explained Eren Berber, MD, MBA, director of surgical liver tumor ablation at Cleveland Clinic.

This camera, and laparoscopic ultrasound, are used to examine the liver and expose the tumor for microwave ablation.

“Through a very small incision, a couple of millimeters, we introduce our ablation needle under the ultrasound guide,” described Dr. Berber.

Then, the microwave generator is fired up—delivering immense heat to Doctor Berber that he harnesses to burn and destroy the tumor.

Dr. Berber, a world leader in advanced laparoscopic ablation technologies, says that this treatment’s benefits include better recoveries, less pain, and a quicker return to normal life.

“If you burn it with these new technologies, the patients can go home the next day,” Dr. Berber shared.

Surgeons also perfom a biopsy during the procedure using a very small needle under the laparoscopic camera to confirm the diagnosis before proceeding with the microwave ablation.

Following this groundbreaking procedure, the patient is doing well, and scans show no trace of the tumor.

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Don Dwyer

Don Dwyer is a Morning Anchor/Reporter at WGEM.

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