Int J Angiol 2007; 16(1): 1-6
DOI: 10.1055/s-0031-1278235

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Cryosurgery: A review

Wai-ki Yiu1 2 , Maria T Basco1 , John E Aruny1 , Stephen WK Cheng2 , Bauer E Sumpio1
  • 1Department of Vascular Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
  • 2Division of Vascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong Medical Centre, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
27 April 2011 (online)


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.