Freezing Kidney Tumors

Older patients with early-stage kidney cancer may want to consider undergoing a minimally invasive treatment instead of partial or total removal of the kidney (nephrectomy), which may pose more complications. At the time of diagnosis, most renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) remain localized in the kidney, and the majority of tumors do not progress to fatal disease. With this in mind, “cryoablation,” which uses cold gas to freeze and destroy relatively small tumors, emerges as the preferred treatment. Percutaneous (through the skin) thermal ablation involves inserting a needle, which is guided by a CT scan, to freeze the tumor. This procedure is even less invasive than the laparoscopic approach and typically requires only a one-day hospital stay and as much as three weeks of recovery time.

P.S. While survival rates for patients undergoing percutaneous ablation are less than those undergoing partial nephrectomy, they are equal to those undergoing radical nephrectomy, but the open surgeries had higher rates of complications and renal failure.