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Ablative Services for Lung and Pleura

UC Irvine Healthcare’s Ablative Oncology Center offers the latest and least invasive treatments to ablate—or destroy—lung cancer and pleural disease. Through the center, patients have access to the expertise and care provided by our highly skilled team of surgeons, interventional radiologists, nurses, technicians and other medical professionals at UC Irvine Medical Center.

Among the conditions our ablative cardiothoracic specialists treat are: Illustration of human lungs
  • Lung cancer
  • Pleural tumors (including mesothelioma)
  • Pulmonary metastasis (from primary malignancies including sarcomas, gastrointestinal and genitourinary cancers)
  • Atrial arrhythmias (including atrial fibrillation and flutter)
The ablative services we provide include:  
  • Radiofrequency and microwave ablation of lung cancer
  • Radiofrequency and cryoablation of pleural tumors
  • Minimally invasive surgical radiofrequency ablation of atrial fibrillation

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is the most frequently used ablative treatment for primary lung cancer for patients who are not candidates for surgical resection because they lack adequate pulmonary reserves or have major medical comorbid conditions. An experienced team of interventional radiologists and thoracic surgeons working together first locate the tumor precisely with advanced imaging technology such as a computed tomography (CT) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. A probe is then inserted into the tumor to deliver radiofrequency heat to destroy the cancer cells with minimal effect on surrounding tissue. Patients who undergo RFA ablation often can go home the same day or after a brief overnight stay to ensure there are no complications.

The center's specialists also perform minimally invasive radiofrequency or microwave ablation of metastatic lung lesions that are no amenable to standard surgical or radiation therapy. Another area of intense investigation and clinical application at UC Irvine is in the use of cryoablation to destroy malignant mesothelioma or other pleural tumors, combined with standard surgical debulking procedures.

Other cardiothoracic ablative services

Cardiac arrhythmia has long been treated ablatively by electrophysiology cardiologists and cardiac surgeons who deliver electrical impulses to treat atrial tachyarrhythmias, including atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. At UC Irvine Medical Center, we also use state-of-the-art minimally invasive thoracoscopic and robot-assisted techniques to perform RFA ablation to cure paroxysmal and persistent atrial fibrillation with a success rate of greater than 80 percent.

For more information or to make an appointment to see a UC Irvine Healthcare ablative lung, pleural or heart specialist, please call 714-456-3634.

Clinical Team

Dr. Jeffrey Milliken Jeffrey Milliken, MD
Cardiothoracic surgeon


Dr. Milliken is a board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon with more than 20 years of experience in adult cardiac and general thoracic surgery. His areas of interest include robot-assisted off-pump coronary artery bypass surgery, surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation, robot-assisted thymectomy and lobectomy. Milliken has also expertise in minimally invasive valve surgery.

Learn more about Dr. Milliken »