Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is a broad term that goes beyond cryosauna cabins for beauty treatments and sports injuries rehabilitation. Nowadays we focus especially on one application: cervical cryotherapy. If you want to know what it is, read on.
The cervix is the lower part of the uterus, located at the bottom of the vagina, a flexible, thin and about three centimeters long muscle. Cervical cancer affects the cells of the cervix. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections are the main cause of cervical cancer, which is now the third most common type of cancer in women, cervical cancer. Cervical cryotherapy is a preventive method that helps prevent uterine cancer in women. Cervical cryotherapy is used to kill cancer cells by freezing. Applying a localized cold method, we can isolate potentially carcinogenic cell and we manage to stimulate the birth of healthy cells, which help to avoid this type of cancer.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis without the need of anaesthesia. With the patient lying on the stretcher, the walls of the vagina are separated with a speculum. A cryoprobe is then inserted and softly pressed against the cervix for a few minutes.
The aim is to remove the abnormal cells in the cervix. The process is based on freezing these cells and then removing them so that completely healthy cells are born.
The treatment is very simple, the doctor inserts the speculum through the vagina so that the cervix is completely accessible, then the cryoprobe, the instrument that will freeze potentially harmful cells, is introduced.
The cryogenic device consists of a gas tank containing a refrigerant and a non-toxic, non-explosive gas (usually nitrous oxide). The gas is applied using a flexible tube through a pistol-type accessory to the cryoprobe. This instrument freezes the cells very quickly. Usually, the doctor does this twice and stops for a few minutes between each action.
The possible risks are as follows:
Cervical cryotherapy is effective in destroying all abnormal cells in 77-96% of cases. Usually the freezing process is carried out twice, leaving a few minutes of rest between the two processes. The complete treatment takes only about 5 minutes.
Cryotherapy is up to 90% effective, in which case the suspicious cells disappear completely. If the subsequent review detects the presence of more potentially harmful cells, the process can be carried out again to obtain the expected results.
The process is barely painful. It is true that you may feel mild abdominal pain and intense cold in the area of the vagina, but this is an easily bearable discomfort. In fact, most women who undergo this process do not feel any pain.
As we have seen, cervical cryotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure. Most women can return to their daily activities the same day.
Often after the procedure, there is a large, often odorous vaginal discharge for the first month after the procedure. The discharge is due to dead tissue cells shed from the cervix. Creams such as Aminocerv are often prescribed to alleviate this symptom.
On the other hand, the patient must avoid sexual intercourse and the use of tampons for three weeks. Do not exercise too much to reduce the chances of bleeding.
Cervical cryotherapy is located in the cervix has few side effects. In any case, it is advisable to follow the following tips to completely recover the treated area:
In the most serious cases, pains similar to a colic can occur, even slight bleeding, as we say, is uncommon, but if it does occur, it is recommended that you see a specialist immediately in order to evaluate the affected area.
Cervical cryotherapy treats lesions on the cervix. In the case of locating damaged tissues in this area, we can destroy them by applying low temperatures. This treatment does not require anesthesia because it is painless, can be performed in the usual doctor’s office and requires no prior preparation.
The usual side effects after a cervical cryotherapy treatment are as follows: