About YRMC

YRMC Introduces Ablative Therapies

by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Jun 16, 2015
Non-Surgical Procedures Treat Certain Cancerous Tumors

Ablative therapies – non-surgical cancer therapies with an excellent success rate for certain cancers – are now available at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

“The literature on these procedures shows they are very effective and safe in treating tumors,” said Ben Paxton, MD, Vascular and Interventional Radiologist, YRMC. “For appropriate kidney tumors, ablative therapy has demonstrated the potential to achieve a long-term 95 to 100 percent cure rate.”

There are two types of ablative therapies: cryoablation and radiofrequency ablation. Cryoablation uses extreme cold to eliminate tumors and radiofrequency ablation applies heat to remove tumors. The therapies treat tumors of the kidney, liver, lung and bone that meet certain size parameters. They’re also used to treat metastatic (cancerous) lesions. Which ablative therapy is used, depends on the size, type and location of the tumor.

Ablative therapy takes place in the Imaging Services Department at YRMC West. Using CT image guidance, Dr. Paxton advances a needle electrode to the tumor. He then uses the electrode to either freeze or heat the tumor, which causes it to disintegrate. The procedure takes one to two hours, during which the patient is under conscious sedation or general anesthesia, if necessary.

“Patients who undergo ablative therapy return home the same day,” Dr. Paxton said. “Recovery is minimal because of the small incision at the site.”

Patients undergo follow-up CT scans three, six and 12 months following ablative therapy.

Dr. Paxton – the only physician in the area who performs ablative therapies – studied ablative therapies during a vascular and interventional radiology fellowship at Duke University Medical Center.

“I’m grateful to be able to bring this specialized training to our communities,” said Dr. Paxton, who attended medical school at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. “People can receive the treatment they need where they live, go to doctors they know, and be closer to family. This is better for our patients.”

For more information about ablative therapies, contact Vascular and Interventional Specialists of Prescott at (928) 771-8477.