In this medical video learn about freezing tumors instead of surgery. We'll tell you about how the new way doctors are treating patients with kidney cancer.
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Jennifer Matthews: Milt Sorenson doesn't get excited about much. He's been retired for 16 years and enjoys the simple life. Milt Sorenson: Like my wife says, everyday is like a Saturday. Jennifer Matthews: But a recent health scare left Milt and his wife worried about the future. Doctors found a tumor in his kidney. Jennifer Matthews: Surgery to remove the tumor is usually the standard approach. Thomas Atwell: A relatively large incision needs to be made and part of the kidney if not the entire kidney removed. Jennifer Matthews: Now, Mayo Clinic doctors are trying something different; freezing the tumors with a procedure called Cryoablation. A thin probe is inserted through the skin and into the tumor. Gas travels through the port, causing an ice ball to form and kill the tumor. It shrinks and is eventually absorbs by the body. Thomas Atwell: When we feel confident that the ice ball has encompassed the tumor properly, we know that we've been successful in treating that tumor Jennifer Matthews: In fact, 95% of patients who were treated with the technique had their tumors completely destroyed. And the recovery is quicker. Thomas Atwell: A lot of time patients feel well enough to go back to Outback that evening, if not Perkin's in the morning Jennifer Matthews: Compare this incision made during standard surgery to the small mix made during the freezing procedure. Milt's glad he had it. Milt Sorenson: I never had much problem. I didn't have any pain. Jennifer Matthews: And now he can enjoy retirement without worrying about his health. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.