ISSN 2398-2969      

Cryotherapy

Clapis

Synonym(s): Cryosurgery


Introduction

  • Cryotherapy (or cryosurgery) uses the controlled application of low temperatures to achieve selective destruction of tissues. It is used to treat both benign and malignant conditions, particularly of the skin.
  • Cryogens (nitrous oxide or liquid nitrogen) freeze tissues, reaching low temperatures of -50°C/-58°F to -60°C/-76°F, which causes cell rupture and death.
  • Techniques include open-spray, closed-spray and cryoprobe methods.
  • Single and double freeze-thaw cycles have been recommended.

Uses

  • Treatment of tumors found on the skin, lips, eyelids and the perianal region Cutaneous neoplasia.
  • Particularly suitable for elderly, high-risk surgical patients.
  • Most useful for treatment of superficial, small, non-invasive lesions, or when definitive surgery cannot be performed because of limitations imposed by regional anatomy or owner reluctance.
  • It can be an alternative treatment for recurrent tumors, lesions near or adherent to bone or cartilage, and when there are multiple skin lesions where conventional surgical excision is not feasible.
  • Also, to treat lesions when other methods are impractical or when lesions are located in areas without sufficient skin for wound closure after surgery.

Advantages

  • May or may not require multiple anesthetic events.
  • In some cases, it may be performed using sedation and local anesthesia.
  • Less invasive technique with lower morbidity than surgical resection.
  • Allows better preservation of normal anatomy.
  • Low frequency of major complications.

Disadvantages

  • Deep lesions may need repeated treatments.
  • Some complications may appear (post-freezing swelling, pain and self-trauma).
  • Not adequate for mast cell tumors or bony tumors.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Small lesions usually heal in 4-6 weeks, while large lesions can take up to 14 weeks to heal.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Gong T, Zhang C, Kang J et al (2019) The effects of cryotherapy on vocal fold healing in a rabbit model. The Laryngoscope 129 (4), E151-7 PubMed.
  • Tunca M, Gamsizkan M, Yurekli A et al (2019) Cryosurgery to remove perichondrium for the rabbit ear hypertrophic scar model: a simplified method. Acta Dermatovenerol Alp Pannonica Adriat 28 (2), 57-9 PubMed.
  • Fernandes de Queiroz G, Matera J M & Zaidan-Dagli M L (2008) Clinical study of cryosurgery efficacy in the treatment of skin and subcutaneous tumors in dogs and cats. Vet Surg 37 (5), 438-443 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Meredith A & Lord B (2014) BSAVA Manual of Rabbit Medicine. Gloucester, UK. pp 328.
  • Holmberg D L (2003) Cryosurgery. In: Textbook of Small Animal Surgery. 3rd edn. Ed: Slatter D. Elsevier, USA. pp 222-227.

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