PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Thermal ablation of urologic tumors in the form of freezing (cryoablation) and heating (radiofrequency ablation) have been utilized successfully to treat and ablate soft tissue tumors for over 15 years. Multiple studies have demonstrated efficacy nearing that of extirpative surgery for certain urologic conditions. There are technical limitations to their speed and safety profile because of the physical limits of thermal diffusion. RECENT FINDINGS: Recently, there has been a desire to investigate other forms of energy in an effort to circumvent the limitations of cryoblation and radiofrequency ablation. This review will focus on three relatively new energy applications as they pertain to tissue ablation: microwave, irreversible electroporation, and water vapor. High-intensity-focused ultrasound nor interstitial lasers are discussed, as there have been no recently published updates. SUMMARY: Needle and probe-based ablative treatments will continue to play an important role. As three-dimensional imaging workstations move from the advanced radiologic interventional suite to the operating room, surgeons will likely still play a pivotal role in the +-application of these probe ablative devices. It is essential that the surgeon understands the fundamentals of these devices in order to optimize their application.
- needle ablation
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