What is cryo ablation and when it is used ?
Cryoablation, is the technique of destroying specific cells or tissues by freezing them. Preliminary studies have shown this to be a successfulat small tumors of the kidney can be successfully treated with laparoscopic freezing techniques.
The kidney tumor seen in the photo on the left has been treated by cryoablation (photo on the right).
With this technique small tumors can be treated with freezing by insertion of a freezing probe into the tumor. The freezing of the tumor is monitored by ultrasound during the laparoscopic procedure. In this technique, none of the normal kidney is removed; the tumor is destroyed directly.
The results of this technique are being investigated and close follow-up with periodic imaging is required. In the near future, this form of therapy will be available by using needles passed directly through the skin (i.e. percutaenous); hence there will be no laparoscopic incisions made and the procedure should become shorter and the postoperative stay may be as brief as overnight.
Washington University will be one of the first centers to test the new "needle" ablative percutaneous approach.