Percutaneous Ethanol (Alcohol) Injection of Liver

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How is percutaneous alcohol injection done and how does it work?

In this technique, sterile, 100% alcohol is injected into liver cancers to kill the cancer cells. The alcohol is injected through the skin (percutaneously) into the tumor using a very thin needle with the help of ultrasound or CT visual guidance. Alcohol causes tumor destruction by drawing water out of tumor cells (dehydrating them) and thereby altering (denaturing) the structure of cellular proteins. It may take up to five or six sessions of injections to completely destroy the cancer.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/28/2014