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Lawrence General Performs Area’s First Cryoablation Surgery

LAWRENCE, MA – Lawrence General Hospital recently announced that it successfully completed the first cryoablation surgery performed in the Merrimack Valley, a minimally invasive surgery technique used to treat and cure kidney cancer. Performed by Dr. James Meyer and Dr. Mario Torres-Leon, Radiologists at Lawrence General, this is the first time that this type of advanced technique has been made available to the patients of the Merrimack Valley region in the treatment of renal cell tumors.

Through cryoablation, also known as cryotherapy, Lawrence General Hospital can effectively treat and cure renal cell cancers through a minimally invasive procedure, which is more effective and safer for patients. Cryoablation technology uses cold energy, or ice, to freeze and kill the cancer cells by inserting a long, thin probe directly into the treatment area. Unlike open surgery where the cancer is cut out and removed, cryoablation therapy targets only the cancerous cells, preserving both healthy tissue and normal kidney function.

“Cryoablation therapy allows us to offer patients an alternative to major surgery that is just as effective in treating kidney cancer, but with a quicker recovery, less sedation, fewer complications and in most cases, the benefit of same day surgery,” explains Dr. Eduardo Haddad, President, Medical Staff at Lawrence General Hospital.

While cryoablation therapy is relatively new in the treatment of cancers, it’s quickly gaining ground as a more effective technology among cancer specialists because it allows interventional radiologists to target the cancer cells with greater precision. Cryoablation can be used to treat cancers of the liver, lung, prostate, kidney and other organs.

Having performed successful cryoablation surgeries on renal cell and liver tumors, Lawrence General’s interventional radiologists are leading the way in providing advanced surgery techniques to the local community.

“When our radiologists are able to freeze and kill two malignant kidney tumors on mildly sedated patients, and discharge them the same day, you can only marvel at what this hospital can offer, as well as the level of talent and professionalism of our medical team,” offers Dr. Haddad. “This is pioneer work for our region and Lawrence General is thrilled to be able to bring this level of expertise to the community.”

About Lawrence General Hospital
Lawrence General Hospital was founded in 1875, and is the only private, non-profit community hospital in the Merrimack Valley & southern New Hampshire regions. Driven by their mission of providing access to quality, affordable medical care for the community, Lawrence General serves nearly 300,000 patients annually, offering acute inpatient and emergency care for the whole family. Lawrence General Hospital is proud to be clinically affiliated with both Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. In 2011, Lawrence General Hospital provided over $13 million in Community Benefits to the Merrimack Valley. For more information on Lawrence General Hospital please visit www.lawrencegeneral.org.

About Cryoablation Therapy
Cryotherapy, also called cryosurgery, cryoablation or targeted cryoablation therapy, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue, including cancer cells. Although cryotherapy and cryoablation can be used interchangeably, the term "cryosurgery" is reserved best for cryotherapy performed using an open, surgical approach. During cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen or argon gas flows into a needle-like applicator, called a cryoprobe, creating intense cold that is placed in direct contact with the cancer cells or diseased tissue. Physicians use image-guidance techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help guide the cryoprobes to treatment sites located inside the body. Unlike open surgery where the cancer is cut out and removed, cryoablation therapy targets the cancerous cells, preserving both healthy tissue and normal kidney function. An alternative to major surgery, cryoablation therapy is a minimally invasive surgery that allows for quicker recovery, less sedation, and fewer complications.

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