For nearly a year, Hunter Cashatt, 14, suffered from increasing leg pain that left him unable to run or sleep through the night. The pain kept him out of sports – the center of his world in Beloit, Kansas, population 3,800.
Tumor inside the bone
Hunter was eventually diagnosed with osteoid osteoma, a benign, pea-sized tumor inside his left shinbone. Parents Luke and Heather feared he might be facing complex surgery. Or worse, what if the boy who loved baseball, fishing and hunting could never again be active?
Seeking specialists, the Cashatts drove 4 hours to The University of Kansas Hospital – Indian Creek Campus in southern Johnson County.
No surgery necessary
They braced themselves after further tests confirmed Hunter's diagnosis. But what they learned next was like winning the lottery. Interventional Radiology Medical Director Zachary Collins, MD, and his team planned to eliminate Hunter's tumor through microwave ablation, a minimally invasive procedure.
That meant no surgery. No overnight hospital stay. No long recovery time at home.
"Dr. Collins was very thorough in his explanation and really helped us understand what was going to be involved," Heather says. "He even took pictures during the procedure to show Hunter exactly how it took place after it was over."
Most advanced technology
Microwave ablation harnesses the same type of energy that reheats your leftovers. While the technology is not new, Dr. Collins' team used the NeuWave Medical® microwave ablation system – an improved, more powerful version not available elsewhere in Kansas City.
With Hunter under anesthesia, the team used high-tech imaging to precisely locate the tumor. Guided by the onscreen image, Dr. Collins inserted a needle probe through the shinbone, into the tumor's core. Powerful microwave energy heated the probe tip to more than 200 degrees, destroying the tumor in 2 ½ minutes.
Pain-free within days
The incision in Hunter's leg was about the same size as a freckle. He went home the same day and was pain-free within 2 ½ days.
"As interventional radiologists, we're leading experts at image-guided procedures like this," Dr. Collins says. "We're specialists in treating cancerous and benign tumors throughout the body."
This summer finds Hunter playing 2nd base in a new uniform and ear-to-ear grin, grateful to be back in the game.
Interventional radiologists among nation's best
Trained in performing more than 300 procedures, our interventional radiologists perform more than 50 image-guided, minimally invasive procedures daily on patients with a variety of conditions.
This volume puts the hospital in the top 1% for patients served annually among major U.S. academic medical centers.
Minimally invasive procedures can offer patients less risk, shorter recovery and potentially better outcomes.