Tissue Ablative Techniques For Renal Tumors

What is tissue ablation?

Tissue ablation is a way that caregivers can use to destroy (kill) a tumor or lump without removing it. Tumors can be killed by freezing or applying high amounts of heat or energy to them. High frequency waves may also be used. Ablation is used when the lumps are small and few, and surgery cannot be done. These treatments destroy only the tumor cells, and preserve (save) the whole organ.

When would tissue ablation be used for kidney tumors?

Tissue ablation may be used when the lumps in your kidney are small (four centimeters or less). This may also be done when you have kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes (high blood sugar). Patients with only one kidney or who have lumps on both kidneys may also have this done. Tissue ablation is usually minimally invasive. This means that smaller incisions (cuts) can be made than with an open procedure. There may also be fewer risks than when an open procedure is done.

What is cryoablation of kidney tumors?

This method destroys a tumor by freezing it with a very cold metal probe. The probe is guided into the lump using an ultrasound, CT scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This is usually used in older patients with other medical conditions.

What is high intensity focused ultrasound of kidney tumors?

This method uses ultrasound energy to kill tumor cells. The ultrasound waves are applied outside the body and focus directly towards the tumor. The waves produce high amounts of energy that destroy tumor cells.

What is microwave thermal ablation of kidney tumors?

This method uses microwave energy to treat the tumor. A probe is guided into the tumor by an ultrasound or CT scan. The probe releases high amounts of energy that heat and kill tumor cells.

What is radiofrequency ablation of kidney tumors?

This method uses high-energy radio waves to kill the tumor. A thin, needle-like probe is placed into the tumor to release radio waves. The probe is guided by an ultrasound or CT scan. It releases a high frequency current that creates heat and kills tumor cells.

What is enucleation?

This is surgery to remove only the lump in the kidney. A small amount of healthy tissue around the lump may also be removed.

What are immunomodulatory therapies?

This treatment uses medicine to help your body's own immune system. Your immune system helps stop tumor cells from growing and spreading.

What are the risks of tissue ablation?

You may need your skin to be incised (cut), and this may lead to infection or bleeding. Nerves, blood vessels, and other organs or tissues may get damaged. Cryoablation may cause blocked bowels, bladder problems, or pancreas injury. Microwave thermal ablation may cause urine leakage or fistulas. A fistula is an unwanted tunnel that forms under the skin. There is a risk that you will also need open surgery during or after minimally invasive tissue ablation. Even after this procedure, all tumor cells may not be gone and any that are left may spread. Your kidney may also not work as well as before.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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