Dermatology & Skin Cancer Surgery Center offers cryosurgery, also known as cryotherapy, as an option for precancer treatment. This is the method of taking liquid nitrogen and using it to destroy abnormal tissue. Externally, it is used to treat tumors found on the skin, lesions and moles that show early stages of skin cancer and actinic keratosis or precancerous skin growths. Liquid nitrogen is administered directly to the skin using a cotton swab or spray and the growth is removed. Most patients are able to leave the office shortly after the procedure.
What to expect
Cryosurgery is a simple procedure that takes a minimal amount of time. Patients can expect their procedure to be over quickly. During the procedure, a provider will sterilize the area being treated. Using a cotton swab or spray, the liquid nitrogen is administered, immediately killing all cells that it is in contact with. For treatment, liquid nitrogen is placed at a temperature between -346 and -320 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, liquid nitrogen instantly freezes and destroys all cells upon contact. The provider will ensure that only the targeted area will be affected by the treatment. Following the procedure, patients may return to their regular routines.
Most patients go home immediately after cryosurgery. Following the procedure, patients are required to care for the area where the skin was frozen. The provider will give precise instructions on how to care for the treatment site to ensure that patients keep the area clean and protected from possible infection.