Cryosurgery is the application of freezing cold to destroy abnormal tissues and it
offers several advantages over conventional surgery:
- minimal haemorrhage
- fibrous walls of vessels remain intact
- can be repeated without an accumulated effect
- may induce immunostimulation following the release of tumour antigens
- easy technique.
Disadvantages of cryosurgery include.
- slow healing
- scar formation
- depigmentation of skin and hair coat
- relative cost.
Cryosurgery works best for tissues in which the cells contain water. It is less successful
for tissues with liffle water, e.g. containing keratin, warts.
It has been used successfully for superficial tumours on the head and neck and in
the oral cavity, and the author has used it successfully for the treatment of prostatic
carcinoma following debulking by conventional surgery.