The Urology Clinic - Georgia Lithotripsy & Laser Center logo for print

120 Trinity Place
Athens, GA 30607


Phone: (706) 543-2718
Fax: (706) 353-3709

120 Trinity Place
Athens, Georgia 30607

(706) 543-2718

Prostate Cryotherapy

Prostate cryotherapy is a minimally invasive therapy for prostate cancer in which specialized needles are placed into the prostate and the gland frozen in order to destroy the cancer cells.

Indications

  • Primary therapy for organ-confined prostate cancer
  • Salvage therapy following radiation failure

Procedure

The patient is first given general anesthesia, and an ultrasound probe is then placed into the rectum to image the prostate and take precise measurements. A specialized computer program then maps the prostate while the surgeon places small needles through the perineum into the prostate under ultrasound guidance. The urethra and bladder are then examined with cystoscopy, and a warming catheter is placed to protect the urethra. The prostate is then frozen to -40°, warmed, and then frozen a second time in order to destroy the cancer cells. The freezing process is closely monitored with temperature sensors and ultrasound images to protect adjacent organs. A catheter is left in the bladder for a few days following the procedure.

Advantages

  • Minimally invasive therapy for prostate cancer
  • Shortened recovery
  • Radiation therapy or surgery still an option if procedure fails
  • Good success rates and low complications
  • Less expensive than traditional therapies

Side Effects

Most patients will experience some swelling of the testicles and pelvic discomfort for a few weeks after the procedure. A catheter is worn for a few days after the procedure, and after its removal patients may have some urgency for a few weeks. Erectile dysfunction occurs commonly after cryotherapy. Very rarely patients may have trouble with urinary control or a communication between the rectum and prostate.