The word cryoablation
literally means “destruction by freezing”
The idea of cryoablation of the prostate gland has been
around since the mid-twentieth century. Most people
today refer to cryoablation as cryotherapy or cryosurgery
now that the imaging and equipment technology has developed
to the point where cryoablation is becoming a mainstream
prostate cancer treatment. Cryoablation is a minimally
invasive surgery which uses ultrathin cryoneedles inserted
percutaneously through the perineum. Cryoablation is
often used when radiation therapy, both external and
interstitial, has failed to destroy the prostate cancer.
This type of prostate cancer is called radioresistant
because the malignant cells have withstood extremely
high levels of radiation. Freezing temperatures provide
another weapon with which doctors can attack the disease.
Cryoablation is a relatively new procedure; the results
therefore are promising but preliminary.