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Int J Angiol. 2007 Spring;16(1):1-6.

Cryosurgery: A review.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.


Cryosurgery dates back to the 19th century, with the description of the benefits of local application of cooling for conditions such as pain control. Once commercial liquefied gases became available, more progress was made in the use of cryotherapy for localized lesions. As understanding of disease response to freezing increased, safer techniques for performing freezing procedures helped prepare its clinical application in different clinical situations, such as prostate disease and bronchial cancers. Cryosurgical techniques are less invasive and have lower morbidity compared with surgical resection. However, the use of cryosurgery has been limited by a lack of good understanding of the underlying mechanisms of tissue destruction. To apply cryosurgery clinically, and to extend its use, it is important to understand the mechanisms of freeze injury on cells, and to control the thermal parameters.

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