Interventional Radiology

Cryoablation and Kidney Cancer

Cryoablation is a non-surgical method of killing tumors by freezing them to death. It is commonly used as a primary treatment for kidney cancer. It can also be used to treat prostate cancers, liver cancers, lung cancers and cancers that have spread (metastases).

Kidney Cancer

The incidence of kidney cancer is on the rise. The most common kind of kidney cancer is Renal Cell Carcinoma. Some risk factors include smoking, obesity, long-term dialysis, high blood pressure and Von Hippel Lindau syndrome. Kidney cancer can also occur without any risk factors. Some of the symptoms of kidney cancer are blood in the urine, pain in the back or side, blood clots, weight loss and low energy. Most often, kidney cancer does not produce symptoms. Kidney cancers are usually detected with Ultrasound, CT scan or MRI done for other reasons.

Treatment with Cryoablation

Cryoablation uses extreme cold to freeze the cancer to death without surgery. The interventional radiologist will insert a special needle called a probe through the skin into the middle of the tumor, using Ultrasound or CT scan images to guide positioning. The tip of the probe then becomes extremely cold, freezing the tumor around it.

What to Expect

First, you will meet with an interventional radiologist to determine if cryoablation is the right treatment for you. If you haven’t already, you will have a CT scan or MRI to look at the kidneys.

On the day of your treatment, you will come to the Aspirus Wausau Hospital. You will speak again with your interventional radiologist before your procedure. The procedure takes about 1 hour. After the procedure, you will be observed for several hours. Usually, you will go home the same day.


Schedule a consult with an Interventional Radiologist to discuss kidney cancer and cryoablation.