Cryosurgery in General Medicine

Cryosurgery is the use of extreme cold in surgery to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. The term comes from the Greek words cryo (“icy cold”) and surgery meaning “hand work” or “handiwork”. Cryosurgery has been historically used to treat a number of diseases and disorders, especially a variety of benign and malignant skin conditions.

Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure, and is often preferred to more traditional kinds of surgery because of its minimal pain, scarring, and cost. Cryosurgery is used to destroy problem tissues in the body. In most cases of cancer, it’s not the first line of defense. However, it can be used when other forms of treatment have proven unsuccessful, especially if the cancer has returned following other treatments.

Cryosurgery is most often performed to treat cancers or precancerous lesions on the skin. It is, however, used on some internal organs, such as the liver, when disease and other problems make conventional surgery difficult or risky.

Cryosurgery is used as the primary treatment for early prostate cancer that’s contained in the prostate. It’s also performed when cancer returns after other therapies.

Common conditions treated with cryosurgery:

  • Prostate tumours
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Neuromas in the hands
  • Cancerous skin lesions
  • Precancerous cells