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Urology

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is an exciting and evolving method of managing cancers in the kidney and prostate gland. The technique involves insertion of a small “cryoprobe” into the kidney tumor (laparoscopically guided) or prostate (trans-rectal ultrasound guided). The cryoprobe cools the surrounding tissue to extremely low temperatures creating an “ice ball” which kills the tumor cells. Because the dimension of the ice ball can be very precisely controlled, this therapy destroys the diseased tissue while preserving surrounding healthy tissue. This is a minimally invasive treatment for prostate and kidney cancer and is usually done as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. In the case of prostate cancer cryotherapy, patients will usually have a bladder catheter for a week or two following the surgery to allow for proper bladder emptying during the healing process. Follow-up blood tests, CT scans, and/or biopsies confirm the destruction of the cancerous area. Although long-term data is still evolving, currently available results suggest very good cancer control using this novel form of therapy. The use of cryotherapy to treat patients with prostate cancer who have failed radiation treatment has been very promising.


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