Renal cryotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure to treat kidney tumors by freezing a portion of the kidney in order to destroy the cancer cells. During this process, Dr. Mastandrea inserts ultrathin needles into a renal tumor and subjects the tumor to very low temperatures to destroy cancer cells.
Cryosurgery causes tissue destruction by both immediate and delayed mechanisms. The freezing process causes ice crystals to form in the space outside the cells and in small blood vessels. This leads to destruction of the cells themselves. Further cellular destruction occurs during the thaw phase.
A Minimally Invasive Procedure
There are many benefits of renal cryotherapy performed laparoscopically (with small incisions).
The minimally invasive nature of the procedure means that it can be performed with minimal blood loss and without a large incision. The procedure itself is shorter and therefore complications are reduced, including a lower risk of bleeding.
Healthy kidney tissue is not disturbed, allowing for maximum retention of kidney function. By not cutting into the kidney, the risk of disrupting the kidney’s collection system (the “plumbing” within the kidney which transports urine) is minimized. Multiple small tumors can be treated in one cryosurgical treatment, but the procedure can safely be repeated with minimal trauma to the patient if residual tumor is found.
After surgery, a minimally invasive approach translates into significantly less pain, a shorter hospital stay, and more rapid recovery when compared with traditional open surgery.
Being minimally invasive, cryoablation allows kidney cancer to be treated with much less disruption of patients’ lives. Dr. Mastandrea's patients usually are able to return to family, work, and routine activity in less than half the time that it takes to recover from open surgery.
Dr. Mastandrea understands that the maintenance of adequate renal function is of the utmost importance to his patient’s highest quality of life. Because only the cancer is destroyed during cryoablation therapy and normal kidney tissue is spared, remaining renal function is maximized. This means that the kidneys can continue to perform their many jobs more efficiently than if the entire kidney, or a significant part of it, had been removed.
Advantages of Renal Cryotherapy
Renal cyrotherapy is effective, fast, easy to recover from, and has fewer complications than traditional surgery. Here are highlights of just some of the advantages:
- Minimally invasive therapy for kidney tumors
- Less pain, shortened recovery
- Preserves kidney function (versus radical surgery)
- Excellent success rates and low complications
Dr. Mastandrea is always available to discuss any questions or concerns you might have about renal cryotherapy and how it may benefit your specific diagnosis.