January 25th 2023

Minimally invasive procedures on tumor destruction - an excursion to the surgery center in Innsbruck

In the course "Minimally Invasive Procedures", our fifth-semester students of Medical Technologies got an exclusive insight into radiofrequency ablation at Innsbruck Center of Surgery.

Excursion to the center of surgery in Innsbruck. ©Sieber
Excursion to the center of surgery in Innsbruck. ©Sieber

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Reto Bale, MD, expert in the field of stereotactic radiofrequency ablation, organized an advanced training course in the field of "interventional oncology for liver metastases - imaging and therapy". Renowned researchers from Innsbruck as well as guest speaker Bruno Odisio, MD, Associate Professor of the Department of Interventional Radiology from MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, presented current research results.

Radiofrequency ablation is a procedure that uses heat to selectively destroy malignant tumors, for example, without damaging or injuring the surrounding tissue or organism. The heat for the destruction of these tumors comes from a form of radiofrequency current. However, Dr. Reto Bale's method differs from conventional methods because he uses several needles in his procedures, whose tips are heated and not just one needle as is usually the case. Throughout Europe, this so-called minimally invasive procedure is only used in three hospitals and has many advantages: The minimal skin injuries (incisions) that occur during the therapy heal very quickly (shorter recovery time) and the patient can leave the hospital again after a short time. Because organs do not have to be exposed as in conventional surgery, the surrounding healthy anatomy is spared. If necessary, the treatment can be repeated several times without causing any damage to the patient's health. [1]

Daniel Sieber, Head of Medical & Health Technologies at MCI and course lecturer of "Minimally Invasive Procedures", accompanied our students, along with the lecturer Manuel Berger, who also explored this innovative procedure and the students in his course "IT-aided procedures in operative medicine".

We would like to thank Dr. Reto Bale once again for the opportunity to participate. We look forward to further training and insights into interventional oncology.


[1] 3 Krankenhäuser: Laimer, G.; Schullian, P.; Bale, R. (2021, 10 July). Stereotactic Thermal Ablation of Liver Tumors: 3D Planning, Multiple Needle Approach, and Intraprocedural Image Fusion Are the Key to Success—A Narrative Review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8301079/ (retrieved on 2/11/2022)

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Insights into radiofrequency ablation by Dr Reto Bale © D.Bullock