Traditionally, kidney tumors would be removed during a surgery called partial or total nephrectomy or radical nephrectomy. However, for some patients, surgery may be unsafe or unnecessary.
The newest treatments to fight kidney cancer provide a safer alternative to these high-risk patients. These interventional radiology procedures, called ablation, use extreme heat or cold, respectively, to destroy cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. Radiofrequency ablation and microwave ablation uses heat to destroy tumors, while cryoablation uses extreme cold to destroy tumors. The procedure is performed by inserting a specialized needle into the tumor and can be completed on an outpatient basis.
At University of Miami Health System, we offer more kidney tumor treatment options to help you design the cancer treatment plan that’s right for you. Our interventional radiologists offers advanced ablation techniques with fast recovery times so cancer doesn’t slow you down.
Ablation or cryoablation work best on small kidney tumors (<4 cm) that have not spread outside the kidney. If your kidney cancer is in early stages, you may qualify for these procedures.
You may also be a good candidate if you cannot undergo traditional kidney surgery to remove cancer due to your age or another pre-existing kidney condition.
What to Expect
During minimally invasive kidney cancer treatment, you’ll be asleep under general anesthesia. Using CT scan guidance, your interventional radiologist will place a needle into the center of the tumor. They will then heat up the needle (radiofrequency or microwave ablation) or cool the needle (cryoablation) until the tumor cells around the needle are destroyed. Altogether, the procedure may take two to three hours.
After your procedure, you may be able to return home the same day or will be kept for overnight observation. You are expected to have some pain, but this will be proactively managed with pain killers. You’ll be able to return to normal activities the next day.
Why Choose UHealth?
Expert care from highly trained interventional radiologists. Our interventional radiologists are highly trained and are experts in a variety of minimally invasive procedures — everything from treatments to clear blocked blood vessels to advanced cancer therapies like NanoKnife®. All different modalities of ablation therapies are available at UHealth so that the provider can choose the appropriate modality best suited for your disease. We work in a multidisciplinary environment to personalize your care.
Leading-edge imaging care in South Florida. Our doctors are also researchers discovering new ways to improve diagnosis and treatment of cancers. That means you can get some of today’s most promising advancements through clinical trials. You benefit from the latest developments that are fast-tracked from the lab to the bedside.
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