Sometimes, kidney surgery isn’t an option

Surgery is often the go-to treatment for masses or tumors caused by kidney cancer. But other options are available as well. One of those options is laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation/cryoablation.

Rather than removing your entire kidney (nephrectomy) or removing the part of your kidney with the tumor (partial nephrectomy) with surgery, laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation/cryoablation specially targets the tumor cells within your kidney with extreme heat or cold.

Since it’s so targeted, it may be a good choice if you only have one kidney or if you have kidney disease.

Treating kidney tumors with heat and cold

With this procedure, a surgical team will make a few very small incisions in your abdomen and side. They’ll use these openings to insert a camera and several tiny surgical tools.

One of those tools is a special device that will target the mass or tumor in your kidney. With radiofrequency ablation, the tool will treat the tumor with heat. With cryoablation, the tool will freeze the tumor. In both cases, the extreme temperature change destroys tumor cells.

Ablation makes treatment easier for your kidneys

Laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation/cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure, which usually means you’ll have a faster and easier recovery. Compared to other surgery options, ablation puts less strain on your kidneys during the procedure because it only targets the tumor itself. If you have kidney cancer, talk to your doctor to see if laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation/cryoablation is a good treatment for you.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.