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Cryosurgery

What is Cryosurgery?

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Updated November 09, 2010

Cryosurgery
A.D.A.M.
Cryosurgery is method of treatment used for cervical dysplasia, or abnormal cells on the cervix. It may also be performed in very early staged cervical cancer. If left untreated, these abnormal cells may develop into cervical cancer.Cryosurgery is also called cryotherapy. Cryosurgery kills pre-cancerous and cancerous cells by freezing them.

How is Cryosurgery Performed

During cryosurgery, a doctor will:
  • insert a speculum into the vagina
  • a probe is inserted into the vagina that releases a gas that freezes the abnormal cells
  • it is left in for three minutes until ice crystals form on the cells
  • the process may be repeated after waiting for an additional three minutes

What You Can Expect to Feel During Cryosurgery

You may feel some mild cramping and a cold sensation. Pain should be minimal. Report any pain you may feel to the doctor and perhaps there is something that can be done to control the pain.

Risks of Cryosurgery

There are very few risks involved with cryosurgery. Risks include:
  • bleeding
  • infection
  • cervical scarring, which may cause difficulty in getting pregnant and cramping

What to Expect After Cryosurgery

After cryosurgery, a woman can expect a water, blood tinged discharge. It is advised to wear a sanitary napkin following the procedure, never a tampon.

Sex, douching, swimming, and bathing should be avoided for a time specified by the doctor. Basically, nothing in the vagina. This is to prevent possible infection.

It is important to have a Pap smear after having cryosurgery. This will determine if all the abnormal cells were destroyed. A woman may have Pap smear every 3-6 months following cryosurgery for a year or so.

Source:
The Cleveland Clinic. Cryosurgery of the Cervix; January 24, 2005.

University of Maryland Medical Ccenter. WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC TREATMENTS FOR CERVICAL INTRAEPITHELIAL NEOPLASIA (CIN)?; September 30,2002.
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