What is Cryoablation?
What should I expect during the treatment?
To freeze the cancer, special ultra-thin probes called cryoablation needles are inserted into the site targeted for ablation. Argon gas is delivered under pressure into a small chamber inside the tip of the needle where it expands and cools, reaching a temperature well below -100º Celsius. This produces an ice ball of predictable size and shape around the needle. This ice ball engulfs the tumor, killing the cancerous cells as well as a small margin of surrounding tissue while sparing healthy kidney structures.
What are the benefits and risks of Cryoablation?
Shorter Procedure with Fewer Complications than open surgery
Preservation of Normal Kidney Tissue
Cryoablation is Repeatable if Needed
Local Tumor Control – results are comparable to the oncologic outcomes following partial nephrectomy.
Shorter Recovery Time
There are complications possible with any medical procedure and renal cryoablation is no exception. Complications that can occur during or after any procedure include problems related to general anesthesia and cardiovascular problems such as heart attack, stroke, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus. These problems rarely occur, and the risk depends on the patient’s general fitness for surgery and previous medical problems. Overall, minimally invasive procedures have a lower complication rate than open surgeries.
What should I expect during and following the exam?
How long does the procedure take?
Although each case is different, a percutaneous kidney cryoablation procedure usually lasts approximately two hours. After the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery area, where vital signs and urinary output will be closely monitored. Generally, patients experience very little discomfort after an image-guided percutaneous procedure, but each case is treated on an individual basis with the goal of keeping you as comfortable as possible.
What is the recovery time before returning to work?
Recovery time will depend on the extent of the disease treated, the approach used, the patient’s general health and the patient’s type of work. Most patients who do not have physically demanding jobs are able to return to work within 1-2 weeks.
How long will I have to stay at the hospital?
Cryoablation is an outpatient procedure. Typically, patients will go home the afternoon of their procedure. You will need a driver.
How much pain is associated with cryoablation?
Many patients experience very little pain associated with cryoablation, but some patients may have some discomfort. If appropriate, pain medicines may be given to improve patient comfort.
Do You Have Questions Regarding Your Test?
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Source: Galil Medical Inc., a BTG International group company