Freezing Kidney Tumors

This alternative to kidney removal is a safe, less-invasive option for patients with renal cancer.

If you have kidney cancer, you have several treatment options. Depending on your particular condition, our kidney cancer team at Henry Ford may be able to freeze and destroy your kidney tumor with cryoablation.

What is cryoablation?

Cryoablation is a procedure that ablates -- or destroys -- small kidney tumors by freezing them. This treatment option is an alternative to removing your entire kidney. It’s a minimally invasive procedure with several other advantages, and it may be a good option for you.

  • Am I a candidate for cryoablation?

    There are several reasons cryoablation might be an option for you. If you meet one or more of these criteria, you might be a good candidate:

  • How does cryoablation work?

    First, we may need to take a sample of your kidney tumor to see if it’s cancerous. Since most kidney tumors are cancerous, your doctor may not always recommend a biopsy. We also take images of your kidney and the tumor to map out how to destroy your kidney tumor safely with cryoablation. We get these images with our advanced imaging tests, such as:

    Next, our interventional radiology team inserts a cryoablation probe, similar to a needle, through your skin and into the tumor. We use this probe to freeze the tumor and destroy it. After your procedure, you’ll probably need to spend the night in the hospital for observation.

  • What happens after cryoablation?

    Research shows the success rate for cryoablation is more than 90 percent. If part of the tumor is still on your kidney, you may need a follow-up procedure. Your doctor will arrange regular checkups and X-rays to make sure your cancer doesn’t return.

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