If you have been told you have kidney cancer, then you have come to the right place. The urologic oncologists at the Comprehensive Cancer Center are some of the world’s experts in treating kidney cancer. We are known as pioneers and innovators in using robotic surgery to treat kidney cancer—in fact, K.C. Balaji, MD, performed one of the first radical nephrectomies using the surgical robotic tool in the world.
Read more about kidney cancer in our Health Library.
Treatment of Kidney Cancer at Wake Forest Baptist Health
The size, placement and type of tumor will determine your treatment for kidney cancer. There are three treatments for kidney cancer at Wake Forest Baptist Health—one of the few centers in the World that offer all three of these treatments:
Our doctors prefer to perform minimally invasive procedures whenever possible. This means a smaller incision, reduced risk of infection and faster recovery. However, our surgeons experience and expertise extends to open, traditional kidney surgery. This wide range of surgical expertise is critical to our excellent outcomes and success for treating kidney cancer.
- Radiofrequency Ablation
For inoperable kidney tumors, radiofrequency ablation (RFA) offers a nonsurgical, localized treatment that kills the tumor cells with heat, while sparing the healthy kidney tissue. This treatment is much easier on the patient and is more effective than systemic therapy. Radiofrequency energy can be given without affecting the patient's overall health and most people can resume their usual activities in a few days. Learn more about radiofrequency ablation.
Cryoablation is delivered directly into the tumor by a probe that is inserted through the skin using imaging to guide it internally. Cryoablation uses an extremely cold gas to freeze the tumor to kill it. Learn more about cryoablation.
If the kidney tumor is small and not near major vessels
Typically, your surgeons will elect to remove this tumor, depending on exactly where the tumor is growing ,using robotic-assisted surgery, known as the daVinci® Surgical System, or traditional, open methods. We generally define small tumors as 4 centimeters or less.
If the kidney tumor is larger
If the tumor is large and not pressing on any important vessels, our doctors may recommend a partial or minimal nephrectomy. This is a removal of part of the kidney and can be performed using the da Vinci. Our doctors also offer radiofrequency ablation or cryotherapy (using extreme cold to treat the tumor) if further treatment is needed.
If the kidney tumor is very big, close to or involving big blood vessels
Your doctors may decide that a radical nephrectomy is necessary, which means that the entire kidney must be removed. Your doctors will try to perform the radical nephrectomy using a minimally invasive approach.