What is cryosurgery?

In cryosurgery, coldness is applied to abnormal tissue in order to resolve pain issues. Several different gasses such as nitrous oxide or CO2 can be used in this surgical procedure.

Cryosurgery has been used by pain specialists for many years to block the transmission of nerves in order to control pain. It is currently an effective treatment for such diverse conditions as skin abnormalities, cancers (prostate, liver, lung etc), Trigeminal neuralgia (chronic pain in the face) and cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat).

Whilst cryosurgery had been used to manage Morton's neuroma for about 20 years, high resolution ultrasound has allowed the treatment to become more effective.

The ‘Doppler’ function on an ultrasound scan allows the operator to see blood vessels that run next to the nerves, and therefore helps to locate the precise area for treatment.

Cryosurgery is highly reliant on the skill of the operator and requires expert control of both the ultrasound machine and cryoprobe (the tool used to perform cryosurgery). We do not advocate cryosurgery without ultrasound (known as ‘blind surgery’) as the results are less predictable.