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Hospital offers procedure that freezes kidney tumors

New Britain [August 20 2009] - Patients with small kidney tumors are benefiting from an outpatient procedure at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HCC) that destroys cancer cells by freezing them. Compared to surgery, cryoablation offers quicker recovery, less pain and decreased risk of complications.

HCC interventional radiologist Robert Gendler, M.D., says cryoablation technology has evolved to treat kidney tumors up to 3 centimeters. The minimally invasive procedure is especially well suited for older or frailer patients since surgery would pose increased risk. Larger tumors still require traditional surgery.

“Cryoablation has grown to the point that it is quickly becoming the procedure of choice for treating renal cell cancers, the most common type of kidney cancer,” says Gendler, one of several HCC interventional radiologists who uses cryoablation. “One of the great advantages of this technology is its ability for very precise destruction of cancerous tissue that spares normal tissues.”

During the procedure, which uses CT imaging for visualization, a probe is inserted into the tumor. The probe is cooled to 75 degrees below Celsius, killing cancerous cells while not affecting surrounding tissues.

Patients are sedated for the procedure, which is often less than one hour. Most patients go home the same day and can start to resume normal activities within a few days, Gendler says. HCC patients receive follow-up CT scans one, three and six months after treatment to check for any residual tumor that may require additional treatment.

Nearly 58,000 new cases of kidney cancer and 13,000 deaths from the cancer are estimated for 2009, according to the American Cancer Society.

For more information about interventional radiology at HCC, please visit

Contact: Kimberly Gensicki, 860-224-5900, x6507

HCC Corporate Communications
(860) 224-5695 • Fax (860) 224-5779