Cryotherapy is a treatment which utilizes extreme freezing temperatures to destroy any skin tissue that contains diseases. Most importantly, cryotherapy can be used to destroy cancer cells as well. This is done by applying either argon gas or liquid nitrogen to the cells that contain the particular disease regardless of if it is an internal or external cell. If it is a cell inside your body then computer technology (example: an ultrasound) can be used as a way to guide the material to the cells.

Not only is cryotherapy used and applied to your skin in some cases but it can also be done surgically. This is sometimes referred to as cryosurgery. However, surgery is not as common as usually a probe can be used to place the freezing substance inside your skin and it can effectively reach the affected cells. If the situation is less severe and the freezing substance just needs to be applied to your skin then the procedure is referred to as topical cryotherapy.

What Cryotherapy Can Treat
There are many different conditions that could call for cryotherapy to treat it. Cryotherapy can treat skin tumors, nodules, skin tags, retinoblastomas, various forms of cancer, and other less common medical or skin conditions.

Not only is cryotherapy a treatment method for skin tumors but it has also been used for treating tumors in other areas such as your kidneys, lungs, and breasts. While there has yet to be extensive evidence that cryotherapy is an excellent treatment method for tumors, the results have been positive up to this point.

Preparing for Cryotherapy
Prior to the cryotherapy you may want to do a few things to be as prepared as possible. Some doctors suggest that you should take 400mg of ibuprofen just thirty minutes before the cryotherapy starts. By doing this you will be able to prevent discomfort during the procedure. Some doctors may even give you some antibiotics prior to the cryotherapy to prevent any infections from forming.

It is also important to notify your doctor of all medication that you currently use on a regular basis before you go for the cryotherapy. Also let your doctor know of various health conditions such as allergies as there could be a reason to not go through with the cryotherapy. For example, if you have an allergy to general anesthesia, local anesthetic drugs, or certain other items then you may not be suitable for the cryotherapy. You might also be told by your doctor to stop taking certain types of drugs (such as aspirin) for a set amount of time prior to the cryotherapy as well.

You should also know what will happen after the procedure is finished. Usually doctors will suggest that you stay at the hospital for a short amount of time to recover from the cryotherapy if it was for a deep tumor. This should not be any more than an overnight stay at the hospital and should not be too inconvenient.

If you have a serious procedure in the form of cryosurgery then you will definitely be required to stay at the hospital temporarily. If you are just going through percutaneous cryotherapy then you may be able to leave shortly after the procedure but you might also be required to stay overnight.

Benefits of Cryotherapy
There are quite a few reasons why cryotherapy may be a beneficial treatment method for your condition. For instance, take a look at cryosurgery for liver or kidney tumors. Usually the recovery time for these tumors with cryosurgery is much shorter than it is if you have the tumor surgically removed.

Percutaneous cryotherapy is also a lot less traumatic than open surgery is as it only requires a tiny surgical incision in order to get the probe into your skin and to treat the targeted area. This means that the amount of damaged tissue that is not diseased will be minimized. Also, percutaneous cryotherapy can be a lot more affordable than various forms of open surgery.

Risks of Cryotherapy
Even though cryotherapy is a great treatment method for a variety of health conditions there are still some risks to the procedure. One minor risk of percutaneous cryotherapy for example would be bleeding occurring as a result of the puncture and freezing the tissues

If the procedure is too close to your lungs then it could cause various problems such as a collapsed lung or fluid gathering near the lungs. There may even be damage to your nerves if the nerves get completely frozen and this could lead to motor weakness of the specified area.

There are various other health risks from cryotherapy and while they may be uncommon you should still get your doctor to go through them before following through with the procedure. As long as your doctor confirms there are no major health risks for you based on your prior medical conditions then you should definitely want to go through with the cryotherapy though. There are definitely risks involved but whenever this type of treatment method is necessary then you have to expect these risks. Just get advised from your doctor if cryotherapy is really your best option.

Last updated on Mar 13th, 2010 and filed under Alternative Medicine. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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