This minimally invasive outpatient procedure destroys cancer cells by rapidly freezing and thawing cancerous tissue.
Cryotherapy begins by using needles that are connected to a cryotherapy generator, to insert liquid nitrogen or argon gas directly into a tumor. As this gas expands, it drops the temperature surrounding the tumor to -185ºC. This extreme cold creates a ball of ice that cuts off blood supply, killing the cancer cells. Once the tissue surrounding the needles is covered with ice, the liquid nitrogen or argon circulation is stopped and the area is allowed to thaw. The freeze-thaw cycle is repeated and then the instruments are removed.
Since a large incision is not required, there is minimal recovery.