Annual Check-Up Catches Early-Stage Tumor, Minimally Invasive Procedure Spares Kidney
Patient recovers quickly to resume active lifestyle

Vol. 16, No. 1
Winter 2006

  • Winthrop's Bariatric Surgery Program Leaves Lives Forever Changed

  • Bariatric Surgery Procedure

  • Angioplasty Proceduresat Winthrop Ranked at the Top by NY State's Health Department

  • Singapore Doctors and Hospital Leaders Tour Winthrop's Cardiac Care Facilities

  • Pulmonary Rehab Programis Step in Right Direction for Lung Disease Patient

  • First Annual Pulmonary Hypertension Walk Raises Thousands for Research

  • Winthrop's Diabetes Education Center Celebrates Grand Opening of New,Larger Facility

  • Winthrop's Diabetes Education Program Once Again Merits ADA Recognition

  • Annual Check-Up Catches Early-Stage Tumor, Minimally Invasive Procedure Spares Kidney

  • Winthrop First to Perform Spinal Radiosurgery with CyberKnife

  • ASU Tours Help Young Patients Prepare for Surgery

  • An Elegant Evening of Celebration & Charity

  • The Guardian Society Thinking Ahead for Your Future and Winthrop's

  • Syde Hurdus Foundation Supports Endoscopy Center and Research

  • Treiber Family Gives in Memory of Their Son

  • First Annual "Evening of Tasting & Giving" Raises Thousands

  • Cardiac Surgeon and Family Donate in Support of Heart Surgery Center Construction

  • Auxilians Once Again Join Hands to Help Pediatrics

  • "Extend the Holidays" Toy Drive Keeps Smiles Going

  • The Pat Lyons Foundation

  • "Family Sunday" Created for Cancer Center for Kids' Patients

  • Jay's World Foundation Furthers Support of Winthrop's Pediatric Facilities

  • Williston Park Rotary Lends Support for Cancer Survivors' Program

  • Winthrop Welcomes 2006 Golf Tournament Co-Chairs

  • Garden City Resident Celebrates Birthday by Helping Young Patients

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  • Now given a clean bill of health, Mr. Ligon is setting his sights on pursuing new adventures.
    For George Ligon--an active 58-year old who loves the outdoors and has big travel plans once he and his wife retire from teaching--learning he had cancer was devastating.

    "It rocked me back on my heels," explained Mr. Ligon, who was diagnosed with a kidney tumor last summer. "I was in the process of getting my normal back-to-school checkups done when my doctor noticed a suspicious mass in my kidney."

    An X-ray and CT scan confirmed the existence of a cancerous tumor, and Mr. Ligon was told he needed surgery. Referred to Robert A. Edelman, MD, an attending urologist at Winthrop-University Hospital, Mr. Ligon was offered three options: laparoscopic surgery, right radical nephrectomy or renal cryoablation.

    Mr. Ligon was a candidate for cryoablation, which he elected.

    Renal cryoablation, an alternative for traditional and partial kidney removal for select patients, involves repeatedly freezing and destroying small cancerous kidney tumors. During the procedure, which is often performed laparoscopically, small needles are inserted into the kidney tumor. The needle tips are cooled and only the malignant cells are killed. Following the two-hour procedure, the patient remains hospitalized for an average of two days for monitoring.

    "Renal cryoablation not only preserves the kidney, but decreases the chances of internal bleeding," explained Dr. Edelman. "And, while it's a newer technique, it doesn't compromise cure rate. Mr. Ligon's chance for recovery stood at 85 percent because the mass was caught early."

    Mr. Ligon wanted a less-invasive procedure. "Dr. Edelman even assured me that the incision would not damage my stomach muscles because he knew I wanted to remain physically active," he said.

    "I felt very comfortable and confident in his hands. He was very honest when he told me that he felt the tumor was 70 percent cancerous, but that cryoablation would kill the malignant tissue."

    "The procedure is 'very clean and clear' in that it leaves behind no debris," explained Dr. Edelman. "Overall, it is a better way of treating localized renal cancer because it prevents growth while saving the kidney."

    Today, four months after his procedure, Mr. Ligon is well and back to working out at the gym three-to-four times a week. He credits his clean bill of health to keeping up with his annual check-ups.

    "Even if you are in perfect health, visit your doctor because if anything is going on, you need to find out as soon as possible," he advises. "Then, be sure to ask questions. Don't be afraid to research your options and get a sense of feeling comfortable with your doctor and the procedure."

    Dr. Edelman has advised Mr. Ligon to return for a follow-up in the next six months. Now, all he needs to worry about is getting back to the classroom and planning his next adventure.

    For more information about the procedure, call (516)742-3200 ext. 103 or 104.

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