Cryotherapy/Cryosurgery Is Not Major Surgery In fact, it's a minimally-invasive treatment that can often be performed as a same-day outpatient procedure. With cryotherapy, there is no open surgery and no radiation beams or radioactive seeds. There is little or no pain, side effects are often low, and recovery is typically fast.
Guided by Ultrasound Imaging During the procedure, your physician inserts thin probes into the prostate gland. Guided by ultrasound imaging, the tip of the probe is precisely positioned near the cancerous tissue. Argon gas is then circulated inside the probe to generate a teardrop of ice cold enough to freeze all of the cancer cells. If the cancer is limited to a portion of the prostate, your doctor may be able to freeze only the cancerous tissue, while the remaining prostate stays healthy. If cancer is found throughout the gland your doctor may choose to freeze the entire prostate.
Staying Warm Inside During the freeze, temperature sensors carefully monitor the body and precisely determine when target temperatures have been reached. A special warming catheter is used to protect the urethra from cold temperatures, helping to maintain urinary function. If the cancer is limited and a partial gland freeze is performed, nearby nerves may be preserved helping to maintain sexual function and speeding your recovery to a normal life.