Cryosurgery of the Cervix
Alternate Names : Cervical Freezing Treatment, Freezing of the Cervix, Cryotherapy of the Cervix
Cryosurgery of the cervix is the freezing of a section of the cervix. This is usually
done to remove cells that show the types of changes that can lead to cancer in the future. Cells
with these types of changes are called precancerous. The cervix is the lower portion of
the uterus where it attaches to the vagina.
Who is a candidate for the procedure?
Cryosurgery may be used to treat a woman who has:
an inflamed cervix, called cervicitis
certain types of precancerous changes in the cervix. These changes are usually first
detected from a Pap smear.
some forms of cervical ectropion, which may cause a chronic or long-standing whitish
or yellowish discharge.
How is the procedure performed?
This procedure can often be done in the doctor's office. First, a tool called
a speculum is used to hold the vaginal walls apart so that the cervix can be seen well.
This tool is also used during a regular Pap smear. A bit of gel is then put on the cervix.
This helps create a good seal for a tool called a cryoprobe. The cryoprobe delivers
liquid nitrogen to the right spot on the cervix. A flow of liquid nitrogen, which is
extremely cold, freezes the cervix cells for about 3 to 5 minutes. After a wait of 2 to 3
minutes to let the cells warm up, they are frozen again for 3 to 5 minutes. This repeated freezing
destroys the cells.