Minimally Invasive Image-Guided Cryoablation Procedures
Currently, Galil Medical’s cryoablation system is used by interventional radiologists to perform percutaneous image-guided cryoablation on certain kidney tumors and on cancer that has metastasized to the liver.
Image-guided cryotherapy is a minimally invasive, percutaneous treatment for solid tumors of the kidney and metastatic tumors of the liver. Cryotherapy is a well-established technology for the treatment of various benign and malignant conditions. Combining Galil Medical’s patented freezing technology and ultra-thin cryoablation needles with advanced imaging capabilities has created the opportunity to perform truly minimally invasive tumor destruction.
Image guidance refers to the use of imaging techniques (e.g., fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT and MRI) during a procedure. Intraprocedurally, imaging is used to target and place the cryoablation needles into the tumor, to monitor the double freeze-thaw process, and to control the treatment, as necessary. Imaging is also used before the procedure to plan the treatment and after the procedure to assess the treatment response.
Percutaneous image-guided cryotherapy is performed without surgical incisions, and is most often performed by an interventional radiologist (IR) in the radiology department of the hospital, and not in the operating room. The type of anesthesia used will depend on the size and location of the tumor as well as the patient’s general medical condition. If light sedation and local anesthesia are used, the patient can usually be discharged the same day, after a brief stay in a recovery area.
Monitoring of the treatment through intraprocedural imaging allows the physician to observe the ablation process closely, allowing the physician to make adjustments during the procedure, such as repositioning the needles or adjusting the temperature to assure that the tumor is completely destroyed and that surrounding healthy tissue is unharmed.
Studies show that patients undergoing minimally invasive procedures recover more quickly, and report minimal pain during and after the cryoablation. The risk of certain complications, such as excessive bleeding, is less than that of open surgery, and patients can return to normal activities sooner.