Jonesboro, AR (KAIT)- When Hope Overton found out she had kidney cancer she says the worst feeling of fear came over her.
"I was scared to death," said Overton. "When you think of kidney surgery you thing, it's gotta be cut out, it's gotta be taken out."
But her kidney didn't have to be removed.
Less than two months after her cancer diagnosis Overton became the first patient in Northeast Arkansas to have her quarter-sized tumor removed through what's called Percutaneous Renal Cryoablation.
The surgery took place at St. Bernard's Hospital in Jonesboro.
The relatively new procedure involves the use of needles, not scalpels, to remove the tumor.
St. Bernards Urologist Dr. Joseph Kueter was one of the operating surgeons.
"We just stick in needles to freeze the tumour and we use a CT-scan to show us what we're doing," said Dr. Kueter.
Overton's preexisting heart condition would have posed problems for her in a traditional surgical setting, so this option of a minimally invasive, cryo-surgery was the way to go.
But, Dr. Kueter says the procedure isn't necessarily for everyone.
"The bigger tumors will still have to be removed," he said. "This method is reserved for smaller tumors which are in locations where we can get to them with the needles."
Overton says the surgery's real selling point for her was the recovery time, or lack thereof.
She spent one night in the hospital and was back on her feet within a matter of days, just in time for she and her husband to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.
"We left that day for a week's vacation in Little Rock and we did everything. It's just marvelous what the Lord has done and I feel blessed that he let me be the one to show everyone else this new type of surgery."