We have recently acquired new cryosurgery equipment at our surgery. This will enable us to perform cryoablation on certain lumps to remove them. Read on to find out more.
What is cryosurgery?
Cryosurgery is when intense cold is used to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. This treatment is now more precise and targeted than previously. This means there is very little to no damage to the surrounding tissues. During cryosurgery supercooled liquid nitrogen is sprayed precisely on the area required freezing and so kills the cells. Over time the area treated will slough off and be gone.
What can it be used for?
Cryosurgery can be used to remove small tumours in the skin, skin tags, warts and distichiasis (abnormal eyelid hairs). It can also be used to treat bumblefoot and for some tumours in the mouth or on the nose.
What are the advantages?
Depending on the patient, cryosurgery can be performed with little to no sedation and usually without a general anaesthetic. This means that cryosurgery is a safer alternative to general surgery for elderly patients or those with underlying disease. It is painful during the procedure and so local anaesthetic is often required, however there is very little pain after cryotherapy has been performed. It is a quick procedure that does not cause any bleeding and has a very low risk of infection. No sutures are required so in most cases patients do not need to wear buster collars following the procedure.
What are the disadvantages?
Any mass or lesion that is removed by cryosurgery cannot be sent to the laboratory for histopathology to determine what it was. This is because the cells are damaged by the procedure. This means that if the mass is likely to be cancerous this is not the best option for treatment and general surgery and histopathology is the preferred treatment option.
How long does the healing take?
The lesion that has undergone cryosurgery will usually fall off within 2 weeks. During that time there may be some swelling and redness to the area.
If you are interested in cryosurgery for your pet, please contact us today on 01702 545558 to book an appointment with one of our vets.