No-touch ablation technique

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 30 Mar 2021

No-touch ablation techniques, using either microwave or radiofrequency to generate heating, refer to approaches whereby the probes are placed at multiple oblique sites tangential and adjacent to the targeted tumor (cf. probe placement centrally within the tumor).


For general indications of thermal ablation in multiple organs, please refer to the respective parental articles on each different modality of ablation. The no-touch technique has been largely applied in liver tumors, particularly oligometastatic disease and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its indications and advantages compared to the traditional technique are: 

  • peripheral subcapsular tumor location
    • advantages: tumor capsular breach is avoided and, therefore, decreased risk of hemorrhage and tumor seeding 1
  • has been shown to provide better sustained local tumor response for HCC less than 5 cm when compared to standard RFA technique 2,3

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