If you’ve ever had a wart or skin tag removed at the doctor’s office, you’re probably familiar with cryosurgery. This method of removing small, abnormal growths by freezing and killing the problematic cells can be used for gynecologic problems as well.
Cryosurgery has been around since the 60’s and can be a minimally invasive option to remove precancerous legions on the cervix, endometrial growths, genital warts and cervicitis (the swelling of the cervix). This procedure offers patients efficient and effective care with few, if any complications. Cryosurgery may not be the best treatment option for larger growths and our physicians can recommend the best procedures for any malignancies you may have.
What to expect?
This procedure causes little to no pain, but may cause some discomfort. A speculum is used to hold the walls of the vagina open during the procedure, if needed, and a cryoprobe, or freezing device, is placed on the abnormal tissue to be treated. Carbon dioxide or nitrogen gas flows through the cryoprobe and freezes the tissue. Your doctor may repeat this treatment briefly during the procedure to effectively kill all of the abnormal cells.
In the weeks to follow, the dead cervical tissue will shed and new, healthy tissue will be left behind in its place. Some women may experience spotting after the procedure and some may have vaginal discharge as the dead tissue falls away. Your doctor will provide recommendations as to how long tampons, intercourse and douching should be avoided after cervical cryosurgery. Additionally your doctor may need to conduct a follow up Pap smear, colposcopy and cervical biopsy to confirm all the problematic tissue was removed.
If you have questions about cryosurgery for gynecological conditions, the medical team at North Pinellas Women’s Care is here to help, we can be reached by phone at 727.935.6477 (Palm Harbor) or 727.789.9006 (Trinity) and online.