What to expect during the procedure
The Endocare® Cryotherapy System effectively destroys prostate cancer cells by freezing them.1
- The procedure is usually performed as a one-time outpatient procedure under general anesthesiaGeneral anesthesia: a treatment that puts you into a deep sleep so you do not feel pain during surgery. or
spinal anesthesiaSpinal anesthesia: a treatment that numbs specific parts of your body to block pain. The medicine is given through shots in or around the spine. [an-uhs-THEE-zhuh].
- The doctor inserts thin, needle-like instruments called cryoprobes into the prostate gland.
- The doctor uses ultrasound imaging to place the tips of the probes in the cancerous tissue.
- Argon gas is sent through the probes, resulting in an extremely low temperature at the tip of the probe.
- Lethal temperatures of less than minus 40° Celsius freeze and destroy the cancer cells that are close to the probe.
- Temperature monitors determine that the correct temperature is reached to destroy the cancer cells.
- A special warming catheterCatheter: a tube temporarily inserted into the bladder to drain urine into a plastic bag. The catheter prevents possible blockage due to sloughing of dead cells and allows the urethra to heal after the cryotherapy procedure. The catheter is usually removed during a follow-up office visit. [KATH-eh-ter] helps to protect the urethra from the cold temperatures reached during treatment.
- Babaian RJ, Donnelly B, Bahn D, et al. Best practice statement on cryosurgery for the treatment of localized prostate cancer. J Urol. 2008;180(5):1993-2004.