University of Wisconsin–Madison


Adjunctive Techniques

In cases where access is difficult, or the ablation zone threatens nearby critical tissues, adjunctive techniques can be used to make percutaneous ablation more feasible. One such technique is hydrodissection: injecting fluid to physically separate tissues.

LEFT: A large microwave ablation involved the body wall (arrow), causing pain. RIGHT: A barrier of D5W (asterisk) can can protect the body wall and reduce complications during liver ablation.

Hydrodissection Gel Materials

Hydrodissection with an injectable gel material (asterisk). The gel is a viscous, semi-solid material that holds its form even after the patient was repositioned.

Despite clinical success in using both D5W and normal saline for hydrodissection, the migration and rapid absorption of such fluids degrades the protective barrier. We are developing new materials for hydrodissection that can be injected through small-diameter needles (18-gauge or smaller) and become viscous inside the body. Such materials do not change the hydrodissection workflow — they actually reduce the amount of material needed by as much as 90% — and they offer the same protective benefits as D5W. In addition, they minimize barrier deformation and absorption, resulting in a more stable and effective barrier. This project began as a collaboration with the BME Design program at UW-Madison.