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7 Cutting-Edge—Often One-Of-A-Kind—Medical Facilities In Westchester

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Feb. 13, 2007

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Sept. 28, 2006

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Center for Robotics, Laparoscopy, and Advanced Urology
A Division of WESTMED Medical Group

Laparoscopic Renal Cryotherapy

Click the following link to see an animation of cryotherapy on a kidney cancer: CryoVideo. (Requires video software to view. Download RealPlayer)

What is Cryotherapy?

This involves eliminating cancer cells in the kidney through a minimally invasive freezing technology operation while allowing the normal kidney tissue to remain unharmed. It is a proven alternative to a laparoscopic nephrectomy (where the entire kidney is removed) or open (traditional open cut, nonlaparoscopic) partial nephrectomy (only removing the tumor area).

When can this technology be used?

Cryotherapy in general can be performed on kidney tumors that are less than 4cm in size. It is more pertinent in patients in whom there is a real need to save as much functional kidney as possible.

Who should be performing cryotherapy?

At the Center for Robotics, Laparoscopy, and Advanced Urology, we pride ourselves on our excellence and experience. Dr. Boczko is fellowship trained in laparoscopy and robotics and has performed many cryotherapy cases. He is the urologist who introduced the cryo-technology to Greenwich Hospital, CT and he and Dr. Blair are the only ones to date who have performed laparoscopic renal cryotherapy cases in that area as well as in White Plains and Mid-Westchester. Every tumor case and patient is looked at individually and only urologists with the proper laparoscopic experience should be analyzing these cases and performing such procedures.

How is the procedure performed?

Cryotherapy is performed through a laparoscopic approach, with real-time ultrasound imaging aiding the positioning of the cryoprobes into the tumor. Thermal probes are also placed into both the normal and tumor tissue. This allows us to make sure the freezing is taking place in the tumor area and not the normal kidney tissue that we are trying to preserve. Throughout the case, there is visual, thermal (temperature), and ultrasound confirmation of all actions taking place. Once ready to start, the probes are activated and an iceball is created that progresses the freezing (to -40 degrees Celsius) through the kidney tumor. There are two separate freezing cycles in this procedure.

What is the length of time of the case and recovery period?

The length of the case is generally two hours, and greater than 95% of the patients go home within 24 hours of surgery. Typically, although a patient is sent home with pain medication, most patients tell us they just require some Tylenol or Motrin for pain control. The great majority of patients are back to their normal daily routine within a week of the operation.

What are the advantages of this procedure?

Traditional surgery for tumor removal requires a 10- to 12-inch incision, at a minimum. This minimally invasive technique requires three to four tiny incisions for the surgical instruments.

Patients benefit from:

  • Reduced hospital stay (one day) and faster healing
  • Less postoperative pain and less need for pain medication
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Quicker return to normal activity (about a week) and work (about two weeks)
  • Smaller incisions and less scarring
  • Fewer complications

What about follow up?

Patients are followed closely with sequential MRI or CT scans at one, three, and six months. A CT-controlled needle biopsy may be performed at six months.

Atlas picture of probes freezing the tumor while leaving the remaining normal tissue unharmed

Center for Robotics, Laparoscopy, and Advanced Urology
WESTMED Medical Group
210 Westchester Avenue
Department of Urology
White Plains, NY 10604
Tel: 914.682.6470
Fax: 914.681.5264

1 Theall Road
Rye, NY 10580
Tel: 914.682.6470
Fax: 914.681.5264

171 Hugenot Street
Department of Urology
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Tel: 914.682.6470
Fax: 914.681.5264

73 Market Street-Ridge Hill
Yonkers, NY 10710
Tel: 914.682.6470
Fax: 914.681.5264

3030 Westchester Avenue
Purchase, NY 10577
Tel: 914.682.6470
Fax: 914.681.5264

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