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.

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UAB Urology among the top 50 programs of its kind in the nation, and we are widely recognized for delivering excellent genitourinary cancer care. Our medical and surgical specialists have undergone extensive training in their areas of expertise, and they are active leaders in their fields.

UAB surgeons perform many urologic procedures using minimally invasive techniques, which require only small incisions (cuts). UAB regularly uses the new da Vinci SP Single Port Surgical System, which enables surgeons to enter the body through a single abdominal incision before deploying the robot’s surgical instruments. This innovative design helps improve patient outcomes and recovery times and is particularly beneficial in cancer treatment procedures, as surgeons can now access narrower spaces with better accuracy. The da Vinci SP is the only robotic system approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for urologic surgery and is well-suited for procedures involving prostate cancer, bladder cancer, ureteral reconstruction, ureteral re-implant, and much more.

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