Cryotherapy is a procedure that uses freezing to destroy cells. The doctor uses a special instrument that delivers a dose of extreme cold precisely to the targeted abnormal cells on the cervix or endometrial cells in the uterus (endometrial cryoablation), effectively killing these cells in 95% of cases. The patient does not feel the cold, but may experience cramps. For a few weeks after the procedure, there may be a clear watery discharge as the cervix or uterus heals. Complete healing takes about four to six weeks. It is recommended that women who have this procedure get a Pap smear every three months for the next year to be sure all the abnormal cells are gone.
Cryotherapy may be used for cases of cervical dysplasia and pre-invasive cervical cancer or in the uterus for heavy menstrual bleeding (endometrial cryoablation).