Cryotherapy for the treatment of prostate cancer is an emerging treatment option that has shown a great deal of promise. Dr. Brad Lerner is on the leading-edge of this therapy that is an effective treatment for early stage prostate cancer. Cryoablation can be utilized when the cancer is confined to the prostate as well as when it has extended into adjacent tissues. This therapy can also be used for focal therapy, which treats a portion of the prostate in appropriate candidates, as well as salvage therapy when a person has failed prior radiation therapy.
What is Cryoablation?
Cryoablation, or cryotherapy/cryosurgery, involves the controlled freezing of the prostate gland in order to destroy cancerous cells. The freezing also destroys surrounding tissues and tiny blood vessels, resulting in an inadequate blood supply that is also believed to kill the cancer.
Argon gas is circulated through a hollow instrument called a cryoprobe, which is placed in contact with the tumor. Dr. Lerner uses ultrasound to guide the cryoprobes and monitors the freezing of the cells in order to limit damage to nearby healthy tissue. A special catheter circulating hot water is placed into the penis to protect the urethra. A ball of ice crystals forms around the probe, freezing nearby cells. After cryosurgery, the frozen tissue thaws and is naturally absorbed by the body.
Advantages of Cryoablation Therapy
- Less invasive than surgery - insertion of the cryoprobes through the skin, no incision is necessary
- Can be used as focal therapy and performed as a nerve sparing procedure to preseve a man's erectile function
- Because Cryoablation is a focused treatment, surrounding healthy tissues and structures can be spared from damage
- Minimal complications associated with surgery - less bleeding, less pain
- Less expensive than other treatments for prostate cancer
- Shorter recovery time
- Performed as an outpatient procedure
- Can be repeated if necessary
Disadvantages of Cryoablation
- May miss microscopic cancer spread
- Can cause side effects including, obstruction of urine flow or incontinence (usually temporary); impotence; injury to the rectum
Thanks to his expertise in urological surgery, Dr. Lerner has honed his expertise in cryoablation for the treatment of prostate cancer, when it is applicable as a treatment option. Not every patient is a candidate for this type of treatment. Dr. Lerner will work with you to determine if this alternative therapy may be right for you.