We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is Endoscopic Ablation?

By Maggie J. Hall
Updated Feb 11, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Endoscopic ablation is a procedure in which a surgeon passes a viewing scope and treatment instruments through small incisions into the body and uses electric current, freezing gases or heat to destroy, detach and coagulate abnormal tissue or tumors. Complications from ablation include the possibility of explosion or fire during the procedure, scar tissue formation, and unintentional tissue perforation.

Multipolar electrocautery, also known as MPEC, is one type of ablation that surgeons use to remove tissue. The surgeon passes a catheter through an endoscopic tube and into the body. The end of the catheter has two small electrodes which introduce the current and make a completed circuit. The surgeon also has the capability of injecting irrigating fluids into the site. By making direct contact and applying light pressure, a controlled amount of current passes into the tissue which burns, cuts and controls bleeding simultaneously.

Argon plasma coagulation, commonly referred to as APC, is another minimally invasive surgery that applies current to tissue. It does not, however, require direct contact. During this endoscopic ablation procedure, surgeons pass a flexible catheter through the endoscope into the body. The tip has a tungsten electrode which receives an electrical current. Depressing a foot pedal releases argon gas which arcs when coming in contact with the current. The arc alone contacts tissue and the depth of destruction relies on the amount of gas flowing through the catheter.

Radiofrequency endoscopic ablation uses minute multiple, specially-spaced electrodes to introduce electrically-produced heat to abnormal tissue. Using a guide wire, surgeons insert a catheter alongside the endoscope. Physicians use irrigation fluids to prevent tissue adhesion and to clear the surgical field. When performing the procedure on the esophageal region, surgeons may insert a balloon which when inflated beyond the tissue site keeps the area open and accessible. The procedure typically causes superficial cellular destruction.

The cryotherapy method of endoscopic ablation uses liquid nitrogen or some other refrigerant for tissue destruction. Surgeons insert a cold tip catheter alongside the endoscopic instrument. Usually triggered by pedal control, physicians spray the freezing substance through the catheter and onto tissue. After approximately 10 to 15 seconds of spraying the substance, the tissue turns white. The cells thaw in 10 to 30 seconds and rupture from expansion secondary to freezing.

After endoscopic ablation, patients may experience adverse effects from anesthesia. Postoperative patients generally experience pain and discomfort from direct tissue trauma and from tissue expansion because of the gas used to inflate body cavities. Abscesses and infections may develop at the infection site, usually indicated by a fever. Vascular blood clots might also occur, causing a potential risk for heart attack, pulmonary embolism, and strokes.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.