Medical Definition of Cryotherapy

Reviewed on 3/29/2021

Cryotherapy: Literally, "cold therapy." Cryotherapy, sometimes referred to as cryosurgery, is a procedure used to destroy tissue of both benign and malignant lesions by the freezing and re-thawing process. Liquid nitrogen is the most commonly used freezing source for cryotherapy. Examples of the uses of cryotherapy in medicine are the treatment (removal) of various types of skin lesions , the treatment of dysplastic (precancerous) tissue of the uterine cervix, and the treatment of some prostate cancers.

Another use of the term cryotherapy refers to the use of ice or cold packs applied to a part of the body after an injury to reduce inflammation.

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