Cryotherapy is the freezing and destroying of cells with liquid nitrogen.
Cryotherapy is used to freeze and destroy cells with liquid nitrogen. This is most helpful for small skin masses. As with any tool, there are some considerations:
- May not require sedation or even local anesthetic, depending on the patient's temperament, location of the lesion, size of the lesion, and initial discomfort
- May be able to address lesion that is in a location that is relatively difficult to cut
- Brief procedure, might only take 2-3 minutes for the freeze/thaw cycles
- Healing is relatively quick. The lesion dries up and scabs over. There is minimal, if any, bleeding.
- There is a mild stinging sensation as the area is frozen
- In some cases, additional cryotherapy sessions may be necessary to fully treat the lesion
- There can be some mild scarring or pigment changes
- The lesion is not being submitted to a pathologist. If the lesion is concerning for cancer and/or if there is rapid regrowth after freezing, then biopsy should be considered.