Understanding Some Facts About Cryotherapy And Prostate Cancer

Health & Medical Blog

If you have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, then you should know that there are a wide variety of treatments available to eradicate the disease and to kill the cancer cells. The first line of treatment typically involves some sort of radiation, but something called cryotherapy can be used if radiation therapy does not work or if you have a large prostate that needs to be treated. Keep reading to learn a little bit about cryotherapy.

How Is Cryotherapy Completed?

Cryotherapy is a procedure that is used to destroy the prostate completely. While the procedure is not pleasant, it is minimally invasive and does not always require general anesthesia. If you decide against the general anesthesia, then you can expect to be provided with an epidural or a spinal anesthetic. 

During the procedure, an extremely cold gas is forced into the prostate to freeze it. This will occur through the rectum and your physician will use an ultrasound tool to ensure that probes are inserted into the correct area and that tissues close to the prostate are not damaged or injured. 

While the procedure may sound frightening, it is far less invasive than the surgical removal of the prostate. Also, you can likely go home the same day as the procedure. You can also expect reduced complications that involve blood loss or infection risks. 

What Happens After The Procedure?

There are some things to understand about what you may notice after the procedure is over. You will likely notice some blood in your urine. You also may need a catheter for a few days to a week. This is due to the proximity of the bladder to the prostate and the possibility that gasses can affect the organ. Urge incontinence, pain while urinating, and burning sensations are common. However, most men will experience a return to normal function and sensation soon after the procedure is over. 

There are some long-term side effects that can develop due to the procedure as well. Erection problems may develop and there may be some damage to the rectum due to the surgical procedure. Something called a fistula can develop too, that involves the formation of tissue between the rectum and bladder. 

While some complications and side effects are expected, they are most common with individual who have already gone through one or several rounds of radiation. Also, since the cryotherapy is completed as a necessary surgery, the side effects are not nearly as serious as the possibility of cancer spreading to other parts of your body.  


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