Understanding Cervical Cryosurgery: Is It Right For You?

Posted on: 7 February 2018


As a woman, you most likely understand the importance of annual exams that include pap smears. This test involves swabbing cells from the cervix to determine if you have any cells that can lead to cervical cancer. While the presence these cells does not automatically signify cancer, removing pre-cancerous cells is imperative for preventing the disease. Cervical cryotherapy is one of the least invasive options for removing these cells successfully. With this guide, you will understand the process of this procedure and learn if it is the right option for you.

The 411 on Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen or compressed argon gas to not only freeze, but also destroy abnormal tissue. Cervical cryotherapy involves destroying abnormal tissue that is found on the cervical area.

During the procedure, you will lie flat on your back in a similar position as your standard gynecological exam. Your feet will be in stirrups, allowing the doctor to access your vaginal area effectively.

Just like with your pap smear, a speculum is inserted into the vagina, opening it for further access to the cervix. Then, a probe is inserted, directing the liquid nitrogen or compressed argon gas to the abnormal cells/tissue of the cervix.

The treatment is fast and effective. In most cases, cervical cryotherapy is capable of curing abnormal cells in about 85 to 90 percent of cases.

You will not experience any pain during the procedure. However, many women feel light cramping during and after the cryotherapy.

Candidates for Cervical Cryotherapy

It is important to note that not everyone is a good candidate for cryotherapy. A colposcopy is an additional test that your gynecologist may order if your pap smear shows abnormal cells are present.  

During this test, you will lie in a position similar to when you received your pap smear. After inserting the speculum to open up your vagina area, your gynecologist will shine a scope on the cervical area. White spots will be visible if you have abnormal cells present. A biopsy of this abnormal tissue will be taken and sent to a lab.

Once the pap smear and the colposcopy show the presence of abnormal cells, your gynecologist will suggest cervical cryotherapy.

Lastly, the cryotherapy procedure is not a treatment for cancer. If you have been diagnosed with cervical cancer, consulting a gynecological oncologist will be necessary.

Abnormal cervical cells should be taken seriously. To learn more about cervical cancer and to schedule a pap smear, contact a gynecologist, such as Holzhauer, James L, today.