Cervical Cryotherapy

  • Laurie Turenne-Kolpan


Cryotherapy is an ablative technique that has been used to treat all grades of cervical dysplasia for more than 50 years. It is a preferred method of many primary care providers because of its cost-effectiveness, safety, and ease in performance. Cryotherapy causes destruction of cells by producing a rapid freezing of tissue followed by a slow thaw. This causes intracellular ice crystals to form, followed by expansion of intracellular material, leading to rupture of the cells [1]. The depth of freezing is directly proportional to the length of ice ball formation around the side of the probe, so that an ice ball 7-mm thick around the probe will yield a depth of freezing equal to 7 mm [2]. It is important to note that the temperature of the tissue in the distal 2 mm of the ice ball is insufficient to cause cell death, so the level of actual tissue destruction is generally 2 mm less than the thickness of the ice ball [1].


Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia Cervical Dysplasia Moderate Dysplasia Squamocolumnar Junction External Genital Wart 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family PracticeHunterdon Medical CenterFlemingtonUSA

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