Little information is available concerning the morbidity of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or the evolution of an RFA lesion over time. We report our findings in a kidney removed 1 year after RFA of a 2.3-cm renal tumor. After RFA, the patient experienced flank pain, followed by hydronephrosis, ureteropelvic junction obstruction, and eventual loss of function in the treated kidney. Nephrectomy revealed no residual renal cell carcinoma. RFA can completely destroy renal cell carcinoma in situ without histologic evidence of persistence or recurrence for up to 1 year after treatment. Care must be taken to avoid concurrent damage to the collecting system.
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