The Basics Of Nanoknife Surgery For Your Cancer Tumor

Although most patients with a cancerous tumor undergo surgery to have the tumor removed, sometimes that's not a viable option. In some cases, the tumor isn't eligible for traditional surgery because of its location or how it's growing. While patients who can't have their tumor surgically removed may be able to eliminate it with radiation, nanoknife cancer surgery may also be an option. Here's a look at what you need to know about this treatment option before you make a decision.

The Basics Of The Treatment

Nanoknife treatment relies on targeted electrical pulses to kill tumor cells. This is a sharp contrast to the traditional microwaves, freezing, or intense heat treatments. Since the pulses are targeted precisely, it minimizes the risk of damage to the healthy tissue around the tumor. This preserves the integrity of your healthy tissue, blood vessels, and organs. When your body identifies the dead cells of the tumor, it kicks into its own natural cycle to shed those dead cells. As it does that, it replaces them with healthy cells, restoring your body.

The Best Candidates For Treatment

The best candidates for Nanoknife treatment are those who are not a good fit for standard surgery due to a variety of reasons. Whether the other cancer treatments were ineffective or your tumor is in a position where it cannot be safely removed by surgical means, you're likely a good candidate for this treatment option.

Poor Candidates For Treatment

As important as it is to recognize the best candidates for Nanoknife treatment, it's also important that you know what could make you a poor candidate for the surgery, too. Since this treatment relies on the use of electrical pulses, patients who could be negatively affected by the pulses shouldn't consider it. For example, if you have a pacemaker, the electrical pulses could interfere with its operation.

You're also not a good candidate if you have an abnormal heart rate, because the electrical pulse could disrupt your heartbeat. If you rely on nerve stimulators, that may also disqualify you from treatment.

Reasons To Consider This Treatment

Beyond the ability to eliminate hard-to-access tumors, understanding the benefits of Nanoknife surgery may help you to determine if it's right for you. For example, one of the many reasons why people consider this type of surgery is because it can be done without an open incision. That means that you'll have less surgical discomfort, a shorter healing time, and fewer chances of infection.

You'll experience less pain from the recovery with fewer side effects as you heal. It also means you won't spend as much time in the hospital after the procedure since your recovery will be shorter. Perhaps one of the best things about this treatment, though, is the fact that you can actually have the procedure repeated if it turns out that the tumor returns or there are some residual cells. With traditional surgery, you may not be able to have the surgery repeated due to scar tissue.

What The Procedure Is Like

If you opt for Nanoknife treatment, understanding what to expect can take some of the fear out of the process. You'll be administered general anesthesia before the procedure. Once you're under the anesthesia, your doctor will insert a series of very thin electrodes into your body so that they are positioned around the tumor. Pulses of electricity will be sent through those electrodes, crossing between the needles. The current will puncture small holes through the tumor, killing the cells in between because it causes an imbalance in the cells. It's usually an outpatient procedure, though you can expect it to take a few hours at a time.