Archive for September, 2010

renal cancer treatment

September 17, 2010

Mom and I met with Dr. Ronald Arellano (617-726-8396) and his team on Monday, 9/13 at MGH to review the radio-wave ablation for her renal cancer. This visit was to get more info on the procedure so that Mom could decide whether to have it now or wait.  Immediately after this visit, I took mom to the walk-in clinic and then straight to Emergency where, as you know, she eventually got admitted for a cardioversion.

The renal ablation is a day procedure. It uses extreme heat to kill the cancer cells in her kidney.  It is similar to the biopsy she had in that the position and meds are the same. It takes longer — 2-3 hours. And there are more risks.

Risks involve:


Scar tissue that would interfere with her urination. Her urologist, Dr. Feldman, would place a tube in her ureter to send cool fluid to the site to keep the ureter cold to minimize the risk of scar tissue during the heat of the procedure.

Bowel injury. They will try to move the bowel out of the way during the procedure with a needle.

Allergic reaction to the sedation, but she already did well with same med during biopsy.

Temporary nerve dysfunction. She might feel pins and needles at the site for about 10 days, but this is rare.

7-10 days after the ablation, she will feel fluish, run a low temp and have aches.

Dr. said renal cancer is slow growing, generally, and that the tumor is small. He also said the tumor may not impact her longevity at all or her quality of life. The risk is that the cancer does grow quickly and then tumor is too large for the procedure, then must have risker surgery.

Mom and I talked on Thursdays and both feel comfortable with her waiting, having another CT-scan in 4 months. I will let Dr. Feldman, her urologist, know.