Kidney Tumor Ablation

Kidney tumor ablation is a treatment for a malignancy in the renal tract. Ablation is used to treat kidney tumors such as renal cell carcinoma. Ablation can also be used to treat cancerous tumors in various other organs in the body. Ablation is an effective treatment for small cancers, carries minimal risk, and requires a minimal hospitalization. There are different types of kidney tumor ablation. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally invasive treatment, is an image-guided technique that heats and destroys cancer cells by employing ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging to help guide a needle electrode into a cancerous tumor. High-frequency electrical currents are then passed through the electrode, creating heat that destroys the abnormal cells. Another technique, cryoablation, also delivers energy but rather than killing the tumor with heat, it uses an extremely cold gas to freeze it via a probe that is inserted through the skin. Interventional radiologists perform the procedure through a small nick without the need for an operation. This procedure is done under local anesthesia. Most of the patients receive intravenous sedation, which makes the procedure easier to tolerate.


The UAB Department of Urology specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the genitourinary tract, which includes both the urinary and reproductive systems. This multidisciplinary team of urologists, nurse practitioners, radiation and medical oncologists, and urology nurses and technicians work together to provide the most accurate diagnoses and effective treatment options available for male and female adult and pediatric patients. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UAB’s urology program among the top 50 of its kind in the nation, and it is widely recognized for delivering excellent genitourinary (GU) cancer care.

The physicians and surgeons who staff the UAB Department of Urology are subspecialists in their areas of expertise. Most faculty members have completed fellowships in addition to conventional urology training, including extensive training in GU cancer, kidney stone disease, male infertility, pediatric urology, and female urology. UAB Urology specialists are members of the American Board of Urology, the American Urological Association, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction, the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society of Urologic Oncology, the Society of Female Urology and Urodynamics, and the American Medical Association, among others.


Related Conditions

This procedure may be used to treat or diagnose several different conditions. We have listed some of these conditions below for your convenience. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and may vary depending on your specific diagnosis.


UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of kidney cancer. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.

View Clinical Trials