What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy, or cryoblation, for prostate cancer is the controlled freezing of the prostate gland. The freezing destroys cancer cells. Cryotherapy is done under anesthesia. This treatment is for men who are not good candidates for surgery or radiotherapy because of other health issues.
For this procedure, the prostate is imaged and measured. Special needles called "cryoprobes" are placed in the prostate under the skin. The needles are guided by ultrasound, to direct the freezing process. A catheter will be used in the hospital until you can urinate on your own. After cryotherapy, a patient is monitored with regular PSA tests and in some cases a biopsy.
What are the Benefits, Risks and Side Effects of Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy has been found to have some side effects. You may experience incontinence and other urinary or bowel problems at first. Erectile dysfunction is likely.
Worth noting is the risk of a fistula. A fistula is a channel that forms after surgery between the urethra and the rectum. This may cause diarrhea or bladder infections.
Updated August 2018