Four unique surgeries in a row have been performed at the Research Institute for Uronephrology and Reproductive Health, Sechenov University. Helping to familiarize our specialists with the new technique of CT-guided cryoablation for kidney tumors was Ole Graumann, Associate Professor, Head of Section & Radiological Innovation Unit, Odense University Hospital, Denmark.

Destroying tumors with cryoblation is made possible due to a change in temperatures at the malignant lesion. It is frozen in an ice ball with subsequent rapid heating which results in cell membrane damage. The technique itself has been successfully used by Russian urologists for several years. The novelty is employing multislice computed tomography (CT) for guidance during surgery.

“Before that, we used ultrasound,” said Dmitry Enikeev, deputy director, Research Institute for Uronephrology and Reproductive Health. “Ultrasound guidance is easier, but it limits our options. Conversely, CT allows for improved visualization, has fewer limitations and is characterized by a safer profile. All the surgeries were uneventful, and the patients are feeling well now. The fifth surgery was postponed due to the tumor being adjacent to the intestine. CT prevented us from potentially damaging the gastrointestinal tract. All the patients are already at home. Follow-up is planned 6 months from now.”

In contrast to resection, cryoablation allows for sparing the kidney. The tumor is treated with gases (argon and helium) which are introduced trough a couple of punctures. The surgery only requires spinal anesthesia. It is less hazardous than general anesthesia which is why even multiple serious comorbidities are not a contraindication. Hospital stay is only 1-2 days. The efficacy of the new technique is over 90%.

“The new computed tomography scanner provided by the university made it possible for us to bring kidney surgery to a whole new level. We have made another step into the XXI century,” said Dmitry Enikeev.


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