What Is Cryosurgery?
Cryosurgery refers to the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. Cryosurgery is used to treat warts, keratoses, and certain superficial skin cancers, which would otherwise require surgical removal. At low temperatures ice crystals form inside the cells resulting in cell destruction. Additional damage occurs when blood vessels supplying the diseased tissue also freeze.
The most-common agent used to accomplish these effects is liquid nitrogen. This super-cooled liquid may be sprayed on the diseased tissue or applied with a Q-tip around sensitive areas of the face. It is painful for a brief period and causes edema/swelling of the treated area, which then scabs over and heals within 10-14 days.
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