Dr Aws Sarmed Alfahad, Consultant Interventional Radiologist and Director of Interventional Radiology at American Hospital Dubai, and his team, who conducted the first cryoablation in Mena Image Credit: Supplied

American Hospital Dubai performed the first successful cryoablation procedure to remove renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the Middle East and Africa (Mena).

The most advanced treatment for kidney cancer, cryoablation, uses freezing temperatures to destroy malignant cells, i.e., average tissue temperature of 37 degrees Celsius against probe temperature of approximately −140 degrees Celsius.

Cryoablation is used for curative and palliative purposes, leading to a rapid recovery, improved comfort, less pain, and fewer complications. The procedure, which involves introducing several probes under image guidance to target the lesion, was completed in under two hours with no complications, with the patient under sedation.

The patient made a quick recovery with minimal discomfort. He developed no haematuria, started eating and drinking after the procedure, and was discharged the next morning. A review at the AHD interventional radiology clinic a few days showed he was well.

Cryoablation has several advantages compared to other procedures, such as RFA (radiofrequency ablation) and microwave ablation. First, the tissue energy transfer characteristics do not appreciably change with temperature, unlike in RFA, where the tissue desiccates at high temperatures, and no further energy transfer is possible. It means the size of the ablation zone can be effectively determined, controlled, and increased in cryoablation better than in heat-based ablation.

Second, cryoablation is associated with significantly lower post-procedure pain. Third, the treatment can accurately target lesions through cross-sectional image guidance, thus preserving non-cancerous renal tissue. Lastly, the procedure requires just a few millimetres of skin to enable probes to reach the target lesion and therefore has superior cosmetic results compared to traditional surgery.

American Hospital Dubai is a leader in cancer treatment, therapy and minimally invasive techniques in the UAE and the region. Its radiology department offers cutting-edge facilities that consistently set benchmarks for outcomes, patient safety and world-class treatments.

Dr Aws Sarmed Alfahad, Consultant Interventional Radiologist and Director of Interventional Radiology at American Hospital, has extensive expertise in this field. He has performed many successful cryoablation therapies abroad and worked with his multidisciplinary colleagues to develop this service at American Hospital Dubai.

“This treatment will benefit many patients in the region and will be part of a range of therapeutic options available to patients at AHD,” Dr Alfahad said. “It took about two years of meetings, coordination and negotiations to bring this advanced treatment to American Hospital. And we are proud to be leading the way.

“I want to thank my colleagues for their excellent support and collaboration in successfully performing the first cryoablation of RCC in the Middle East and Africa. It strengthens our objective of ensuring the best outcomes for our patients,” he added.