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Cryosurgery - general information

In cryosurgery, cold medium like nitrous oxide or liquid nitrogen is being applied on the particular organ or body region. Cryosurgery, part of cryotherapy is used in medicine for centuries.


Cold has many utilizations and the two of them are most widely used - applied general and superficially works anti-inflammatory and helps healing the tissues by means of vasodilatation. Applied locally destroys pathological tissue and decreases its volume. This second goal accomplishes the cryosurgery.

Cryosurgery - procedures

Cryosurgery in the ENT is mostly used in:


1. Palatine tonsils - cryptolysis (to empty and shallow the crypts) and tonsillotomy (to decrease the volume of tonsills)


2. Inferior turbinates - turbinoplasty (to decrease the volume of inferior turbinate and to make more space in the nasal cavity, improve nasal breathing and the sense of smell)


Pic. 1 - Palatine tonsills hypertrophy with bilateral tonsillar stones in widened crypts

Minimally-invasive, out-patient procedure for the treatment of a bad breath, tonsillar stones in palatine crypts and palatine tonsills hypertrophy.


There are no special prerequisites for the Patient except that He/She should not eat 4 hours before, to decrease the gag reflexes.

There is no need for general anaesthesia and only oral lignocaine spray is used locally.


New cryosurgical non-contact tonsillar probe significantly improves Patient’s comfort. Cryptolysis lasts 20 to 30 minutes. After it is done, the tonsills, palate and throat can be a little swollen and reddened. This condition lasts usually up to a week. Healing and remodelling of the tonsills take place in two months period and we can evaluate the results of the procedure.


In order to verify the safety and efficiency of the cryptolysis, I ask my Patients to fill-in 2 questionnaires - international HALT (Halitosis Associated Life-quality Test) and second to check for the post-procedure pain and tonsillar swelling and other symptoms in the following two weeks period. Difference in cumulative points in the HALT questionnaire before and after the cryptolysis provides subjective success rate.

Pic. 2 - Palatine tonsills 2 months after cryptolysis. Tonsills are smaller and the crypts are empty, widely open and shallow.

Rafał Chmielewski - ZnanyLekarz.pl