Year : 2017  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 21-25

Radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinomas: A new spectrum of anesthetic experience at a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan

Department of Anaesthesiology, Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Faisal Shamim
Department of Anaesthesiology, Aga Khan University, P.O. Box 3500, Stadium Road, Karachi – 74800
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-354X.197367

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Background: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive technique of tumor destruction for patients with hepatic cancer who are not candidates for conventional therapy. The therapy required general anesthesia (GA) or sedation to ensure patient safety and comfort. The study is aimed to report and evaluate factors that influenced the periprocedural anesthetic management, drugs used, and complications during and immediately after RFA procedure for hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods: For this retrospective study, we included 46 patients who underwent percutaneous RFA under GA or conscious sedation from January 2010 to June 2013 in Aga Khan University Hospital, Pakistan. The patients' characteristics, hepatic illness severity (Child-Pugh classification), anesthetic techniques, drugs, and complications of procedure were collected on a predesigned approved form. The data were assessed and summarized using descriptive statistics. Results: The majority of patients were female (57%) and mostly classified as American Society of Anesthesiologist III (65.2%). The preoperative hepatic illness severity in most patients was Child-Pugh Class A (76.10%). Thirty-eight patients (69.09%) had only single lesion and majority number of lesions were <3 cm (65.45). GA was the main anesthetic technique (87%) with laryngeal mask airway as an airway adjunct predominantly (70%). The mainly used anesthetic agents for hypnosis and analgesia were propofol and fentanyl, respectively. Pain was the only significant complaint in postoperative period but only in nine (19%) patients and mild in nature. Conclusions: Percutaneous RFA is a safe treatment of hepatocellular cancer. The procedure required good anesthetic support in the form of sedation-analgesia or complete GA that ensures maximum patient comfort and technical success of the procedure.

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