Cryoablation is a procedure that uses temperature to destroy tissues. Extreme temperatures have been a source of life-threatening problems. Extreme heat creates burns. Extreme cold kills tissues by cutting off the blood supply. When the temperature is set appropriately, it can be a method of treatment. Heat and cold have been used for the treatment of different things. Cryoablation is a treatment that uses cold to freeze the tissues and kill them. It is also like hypothermia in the tissues. The tissues are then removed so that organs can go back to functioning properly. This treatment treats a lot of different problems and has many benefits.
Temperature changes all the time. Some people live in an area where it is always cold. Others may live in extreme heat. When the temperature is too hot, you can end up with sunburn. Being in a fire can burn you and cause life-threatening injuries. Hypothermia, on the other hand, is just as bad. You are so cold that your body goes numb, and the tissues in the body begin to die. As the tissue die, the organs begin to fail eventually. If you do not get treated soon, you could lose limbs and possibly your life. When treating certain conditions, heat and cold are sometimes used. Heat can be used to help with asthma. Cold can be used to remove tumors as well as nodules.
Cryoablation is a minimally invasive procedure that targets certain cells and tissues and freezes them. The surgery can be done openly, but nowadays, it is done through a minimally invasive technique. The surgeon does not put a needle near the tissues and make it cold. The procedure uses a liquid or gas to freeze tissue. The tissue being frozen is always diseased. The surgeon does not want to get rid of good tissues. The process is guided through an imaging tool.
The procedure is an outpatient procedure. You do not typically need to stay overnight. You are connected to monitors so that the doctor can keep an eye on your oxygen levels and heart rate. You will have to lie on you back for the procedure. Sedation is used to help you relax. Sometimes the physician will use general anesthesia. Wherever the procedure is going to take place has to be sterilized. The doctor will remove hair and clean that part of the skin. A small incision is made, and a cryoprobe is placed inside the incision. The procedure is monitored through an ultrasound, CT, or MRI monitor. Once the probe is in place, the surgeon uses liquid nitrogen or argon gas to freeze the tissue. Depending on what needs to be frozen, the surgeon may need to add more of the freezing agent through more applicators. The tissue turns into a frozen ball, and when the applicator is removed, the tissue is removed. The bleeding is stopped, and the incision is stitched up. The process may take up to three hours.
Uses for Cryoablation
Cryoablation is used to treat many different things. Some common uses include:
- Skin tags
- Cancer cell
- Atrial fibrillation
The procedure is progressing and now being used for tumors throughout the body. It can be used for growths on the spine, kidney, lungs, and even breast.
Benefits and Risks
The benefits of surgery are that it is a short recovery time when it is done minimally invasively. During recovery, the pain and discomfort are minimal. The incisions are small, and there are no incisions made to the tissue that is being frozen. The small incision heals quicker than a large incision. Since the incision is small, scarring is minimal. A lot of times scars are hardly noticeable. There is also a short hospital stay. Most people can go home soon after surgery. Others may have to stay overnight, but can go home the next day; this cuts down on risks of hospital-acquired infections.
Despite all the benefits, there are risks too. Bleeding is a risk. Sometimes it is hard to stop the bleeding. There is also a risk that good tissue is damaged. The procedure is pretty precise, but there can be injuries to other areas. Sometimes fluid builds up in the lungs as a result of freezing near the diaphragm. There is always a risk when using anesthesia. Finally, nerve damage can be done. Nerve damage is rare, but it can happen.
Cryoablation is a procedure that is very effective and has many benefits. Freezing and removing damaged tissues can do a lot of good. Your recovery time is short, and there is less scarring due to smaller incisions. If you have abnormal growths or tumors, talk with your doctor about cryoablation. Cryoablation use is becoming more and more widespread. It may be a procedure that can treat your problems.
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