Traditional ablation techniques are sometimes limited in the treatment of tumors because they use heat, which can damage surrounding healthy structures. The NanoKnife® System provides a solution to this problem, using electrical currents instead of heat, so it causes no harm to blood vessels, veins and bile ducts. This allows surgeons to treat tumors in difficult locations that previously would have been inoperable.
Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center was the first in New Jersey to offer NanoKnife surgical ablation, also known as irreversible electroporation (IRE), and our medical professionals were trained by the pioneer of the technology. We use it for the treatment of:
- Unresectable pancreatic tumors that are confined to the pancreas
- Liver tumors that involve the hepatic arteries, veins or portal vein
- Colorectal liver metastases
- Neuroendocrine tumors
What to Expect During NanoKnife Surgical Ablation
Patients receive general anesthesia, after which the surgeon uses a tiny camera to make sure the cancer has not spread. If it has not, he or she makes an incision in the upper abdomen. NanoKnife probes are then placed around the tumor, delivering a series of electrical impulses until it is destroyed.
NanoKnife patients can expect a five to seven-day hospital stay, depending on the extent of their surgery. Some may require a temporary colostomy until they can move their bowels and most will resume normal activities within four to six weeks. Post-surgical chemotherapy is sometimes required depending on the tumor type and if any tissue remains after the procedure.