Tumor Ablation (Cryotherapy) for Kidney Cancer

Contact Information

Contact UW Carbone Cancer Center for appointment scheduling, patient referrals and more information: 

(608) 262-5223

(800) 622-8922


Our Doctors

Kidney Cancer Providers

The UW Prostate and Genitourinary Cancer Program (UWPGCP) and the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, the state's only comprehensive cancer center, use a multidisciplinary approach to treat kidney cancer or renal cell cancer.

Cryotherapy for Kidney Cancer

In some patients with small renal masses in favorable locations, destroying the tumor by freezing it - also known as cryotherapy - may be an option for treatment.


During cryotherapy surgeons insert thin probes into the tumor. The probe circulates liquid nitrogen within the tumor, causing the cells to freeze.
Cryotherapy is performed either laparoscopically (using a small camera with small incisions) or percutaneously (through the skin). In either case, the patient is given anesthesia to allow for comfort during the procedure. Most patients will stay overnight in the hospital and will follow-up routinely after the procedure in the clinic.


After discussion with a urologist, if cryotherapy is planned, your physician may order a biopsy which may/may not be performed at the same time as the therapy. This allows the physician to know what type of tumor is present and is valuable for patients to follow-up after the procedure.

A Multidisciplinary Approach

Physicians from our radiology and urology teams work together on each patient to facilitate the best care possible. The faculty at the University of Wisconsin has treated many patients successfully with this type of treatment in the past decade and have also conducted research which has advanced cryotherapy as a valuable treatment option.