WEST PALM BEACH, FL – The same technology many people use to warm up leftovers or cook a bag of popcorn is now being used at Good Samaritan Medical Center to fight liver cancer. It’s called Microwave Laparoscopic Ablation, a minimally-invasive procedure that uses microwave energy to destroy cancerous tumors.
With the procedure, a surgeon makes two tiny incisions in the patient’s abdomen and uses an instrument to guide a small probe directly into a tumor. The probe produces electromagnetic waves that create heat and destroys the bad cells.
“The microwave ablation technique is just one example of our commitment to offering the very latest medical advancements to the community for our patient’s benefit,” said Mark Nosacka, CEO of Good Samaritan Medical Center.
Dr. Richard Lynn, the first surgeon to perform Microwave Laparoscopic Ablation at Good Samaritan, said ablation is considered a last resort for cancer patients who don’t respond to chemotherapy or who aren’t candidates to have the tumors cut out. He said he also believes microwave ablation will eventually replace a similar, but older technology that uses radio frequencies. There are different laparascopic methods that can be used in microwave ablations. One involves robotic surgery using the daVinci® Surgical SI System.
In robotic surgery, a surgeon’s hand movements are scaled, filtered and translated into precise movements of micro-instruments within an operative site. The magnified, three-dimensional view that is produced, allows the surgeon to be much more precise.
Another surgical method for the ablations is called Single-Incision Laparoscopic Surgery, or SILS. SILS requires the doctor to make just one tiny incision in the patient’s navel for instruments to pass through, versus creating four small holes that traditional laparoscopic surgery calls for. Besides fewer incisions, SILS is beneficial because there is less pain, faster recovery times and fewer wound complications.