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Cryosurgery: strategy, treatment methods, memorandum for patient, frequent questions

Preparing to the treatment. Choosing the method

The patient begin with special consultations (at dermatologist, surgeon and, if necessary, oncologist). At the slightest suspicion of a malignant process, supplementary examinations would be prescribed (epiluminescent dermatoscopy, biopsy). When necessary, the adjacent medical specialists would be consulted, after which the most effective treatment method may be defined for the particular case. Cryosurgery is an option, and it will be chosen on conditions of its reliability from medical point of view, safety, and cosmetic effectiveness.

Cryosurgery, what is it?

Cryosurgery is a low temperature action upon the lesion focus. The procedure may be presented as a controlled frostbite. Doctor fulfills cryosurgical operation by means of modern powerful cryosystem where the refrigerant is liquid nitrogen boiling at –196 OC. The ultralow temperature necrotizes the neoplasm which will be later replaced by a tender scar. Cryosurgery is an effective, affordable, safe, verified and perspective method of treatment practiced for more than century.

Mechanism of the skin cryodestruction

• The skin malformation being frozen, ice crystals are formed in extra- and intracellular spaces. The crystals then damage the cell membranes.

• Because of redistribution of salt ions between extra- and intracellular spaces, pressure differentials arise (osmolar changes).

• There is no blood circulation inside frozen tissues, and this leads to necrotizing the skin neoplasm.

As the dead neoplasm rejection would not be immediate and requires some period, your organism develops a prolonged immune reaction to the tumor cells, which supports the recovery process and reduces probability of the disease relapse.

Advantages of the apparatus cryosurgery:

• removal of superficial as well as deep skin neoplasms is possible
• excellent cosmetic effect
• no need for anesthesia
• minimal contra-indications
• minor risk for allergic reactions
• bloodless intervention
• no generalized reaction
• no need for patient hospitalization
• quick manipulation
• safe for patient


Indications for cryosurgery 

Benign skin neoplasms:
hemangiomas, seborrheic keratoses, warts, senile angiomas, papillomas, lentigo, myxomas, nevi, fatty hyperplasia, pyogenic granulomas, contagious mollusc, pointed condylomas, hypertrophic scars, keloids, and dermatofibromas.

Suspicious or pre-cancer skin neoplasms:
actinic cheilites, actinic keratoses, leukoplakias, acrochordon, and keratoacanthomas.

Malignant skin neoplasms:
basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas, malignant lentigo, and Bowen's disease (precancerous dermatosis).

Contra-indication for the cryosurgery

The question is to be answered at a specialist doctors’ conference. Relative temporary contra-indications may be a pronounced skin pigmentation, high tendency towards hypo- or hyperpigmented scar formation, a heavy form of pancreatic [ insular ] diabetes, Raynaud's disease, or some other decompensated concomitant diseases.

Strongly objected are any attempts to treat skin neoplasms at home, on one’s own, or at non-specialized medical institutions.

Frequently asked questions of our patients

- What if the blister got injured?
Continue to cure the skin with topical anti-infective agents and to bandage the blister.

- And if the blister is large and disturbing?
Make several punctures in the blister with sterile needle of a disposable [ single-use ] syringe, let the fluid escape, work the surface with an antiseptic, and put a bandage.

- And if the blister is again filled with fluid?
Repeat the punctures of the blister with a sterile needle, work the surface with an antiseptic, and put a bandage.

- And if the blister is red?
Inform your doctor by telephone; if necessary, make a puncture in the blister with a sterile needle, let escape the bloody fluid, work the blister area with an antiseptic, and put a bandage.

- And if there was no blister, a crust being formed from the beginning?
This is one of typical postoperative scenarios. Continue working the crust with antiseptics and ointments.

- What to do in case of a big oedema?
Such may be a result of individual organic hypersensibility to freezing. The oedemas are often particularly pronounced around eyes or at genitals area. Your doctor would prescribe a decongestant, though the oedema is usually going to dissipate by its own in some 5 or 7 days.

- How to deal with the intensive pain soon after procedure?
Before the night, take your preferable anesthetic that you are not allergic to.

- And if the pain does not abate in 3 or 5 days?
Inform the Clinic administrator and come to doctor for control examination.

- Would not the cryoprocedure be harmful for brain if the neoplasm is head-located?
Cranial bones prevent the brain safely against any local freezing. After the cranial or facial cryoprocedure, a headache may appear which, however, being caused by the emotional stress, requires no intervention and disappears soon.

- What if a relapse occurs?
The relapse is possible when the skin neoplasm has been frozen partly by some medical or cosmetic reason. In such a case, the cryoprocedure would be repeated as many times as is necessary for the best healing and cosmetic results.

- Is the method in practice abroad?
Widely. The modern cryosurgery is adopted in many advanced countries throughout the world since 60s and medical practitioners of various specialties continue to use it successfully.