Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer – Overview about the Procedure

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Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer – Overview about the Procedure

Prostate gland surrounds the bottom of the bladder and first few inches of urethra (urinary tube) in men. Prostate gland plays an important role in the male reproductive system by secreting seminal fluid and this seminal fluid combine with sperm to make the semen. As the man ages, the prostate gland usually gets different problems and one of these problems is Prostate Cancer, which becomes common in American men. Even with early diagnosis and conventional treatments, 30% – 40% of men experience the recurrence of Prostate Cancer, which means that they will need additional treatment. Fortunately, with the advancements in medical field and technology, latest treatment method has evolved which is called as Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer. It is the advanced method to treat cancerous cells and a best treatment option for those men who again suffered from the disease.

Here’s, what you need to know about the procedure of Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer:

What is Cryosurgery?

Cryosurgery is also known as Cryo Therapy and Cryo Ablation and it is a surgery that uses extreme cold temperatures to freeze and destroy the cancer cells inside the prostate. The surgery involves the use of liquid nitrogen while carbon dioxide gas and argon gas may also be used. When the temperature of liquid nitrogen is in between -346 and -320 °F, it instantly freezes everything that comes in contact with it and so in the case of human tissue, it kills and destroys the cells come in contact. So, it is very important to make sure that the cells which need to be destroyed are cancerous. 

The advances and researches in Cryosurgery have dramatically reduced the long-term side effects associated with the surgery, while more researches and studies are in progress on the effectiveness of the treatment. 

How is cryosurgery done?

At first, the doctor gives you local anesthesia to numb the surgical area. Then an incision is made between the anus and the scrotum and a thin metal probe or needle is inserted through this incision into the prostate gland. A catheter having a warm saline solution is placed inside the urethra to protect it from extreme temperatures. The surgeon also uses visual information through ultrasound images during the treatment. 

A freezing liquid which includes liquid nitrogen or argon gas is infused through the probe or needle into the prostate gland. The extreme cold temperatures freeze the prostate gland and kill the cancerous cells. By using the images from ultrasound, the surgeon identifies cancerous cells and protects the normal prostate cells. 

Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer blog image

How does Cryosurgery destroy prostate cancer?

Any living tissue in human body whether it is healthy or unhealthy couldn’t be able to tolerate extreme cold. When liquid nitrogen or argon gas is infused into prostate gland, they extract heat from gland. When heat is extracted from the gland, ice balls or ice crystals immediately swell which results in the rupture of cell membranes leading to the damage of the cell followed by tissue death. White blood cells clearout the destroyed cancerous cells and tissues. 

Are there any advantages of using Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer?

Yes, Cryo Therapy has some additional advantages over the other conventional treatments such as surgery or radiation therapy. These advantages include:

  • It is less-invasive procedure.
  • Use of epidural or spinal anesthesia (these are types of anesthesia in which local anesthesia is injected near the spinal cord and nerve roots) instead of general anesthesia in the treatment.
  • It effectively treats those prostate cancers that develop after the radiation therapy or surgery.
  • The procedure also benefits those men who have heart disease, diabetes or lung cancer.
  • There are less chances of blood loss during the treatment.
  • The stay at the hospital is short, usually one or two nights.
  • Recovery time is less.
  • The pain and swelling is less than with normal surgery for prostate cancer
  • Complication rate is low.
  • Success rate is high.

What are the side effects or risks associated with Cryo Therapy for Prostate Cancer?

Sometimes, the freezing liquid cannot kill all the cancerous cells which increase the chances of the return of Prostate Cancer. Some other possible side effects of the therapy are injury to urethra and bladder, serious infections due to injury and blockage or obstruction of urethra. Some of the risks of Cryo Therapy are similar to other treatment options and these include impotency, incontinence and recurrence of prostate cancer. 

Consult experienced urologist at Urology Care of Central New Jersey:

If you recently had radiation therapy and the cancer has returned or you are considering Cryo Therapy as the first treatment option for the disease, then consult urologist at Urology Care of Central New Jersey. The specialist has years of experience in treating prostate cancer with Cryosurgery and the success rate is very high. You will get personalized care, advanced diagnostic tests and world-class treatment with a follow up plan that completely cures the disease.    

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