A watery or sticky vaginal discharge or leak will continue for approximately 20-25 days after cryosurgery. Cervical cryotherapy is often followed by a heavy and often odorous discharge during the first month after the procedure. The discharge is due to dead tissue cells leaving the treatment site. As per research, the cryosurgical healing process was not pleasant and was least tolerable for obese and older women. Most women undergoing cryosurgery may need more pads than they do for normal periods, especially if their previous menses were light. During this period,
- Patients may need to use pads instead of tampons.
- Sexual intercourse should be avoided.
- Douching, stretching, and exercises are not recommended for at least 30 days after the procedure.
In cervical cryosurgery/cryoablation, abnormal cells from the cervix (opening of the womb) are destroyed using liquid nitrogen. The procedure is usually completed within 15-30 minutes. During cryotherapy, the tissue that includes the abnormal cells is frozen, thereby destroying it. The tissue that grows back is usually normal. In most cases, around 90% of abnormal cells are destroyed with only one treatment.
- Patients may be asked to lie on an exam table with their feet up in stirrups.
- An instrument called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open.
- A local anesthetic may be used to numb the cervix.
- A thin probe is held on the cervix. This creates a ball of ice that freezes and kills the tissue. This step may be done a few times. Compressed gaseous nitrogen (temperature approximately −50°C) flows through the instrument, making the metal cold enough to freeze and destroy the tissue.
- Patients may likely have cramps while the ice is touching the cervix.
- Patients may feel lightheaded. This will go away when the procedure is over.
- Patients may rest for some time and are discharged home on the same day after the procedure.
The risks of cervical cryotherapy are fairly low. They may include:
- A watery vaginal discharge with or without bleeding that may continue for a few days
- Scarring of the cervix
- The need for further treatment. In a small number of cases, cryotherapy doesn’t completely remove the abnormal cells. This is more likely if the abnormal cells are deep in the cervix. If this happens, patients might need to get cryotherapy again or opt for a different treatment.
- Allergic reactions toward anesthesia
- Lightheadedness, fainting, and hot flashes (during or right after the procedure)
Why is cervical cryotherapy done?
Cervical cryotherapy may be done if a pap test and colposcopy show abnormal cells on the cervix. Few common problems that cervical cryotherapy treats include:
- Dysplasia: This occurs when cells in the cervix change in ways that aren’t normal. This is often caused by a sexually transmitted virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Condyloma (warts): These can grow on the cervix. These are also caused by HPV.
- Chronic cervicitis: This is a recurring swelling of the cervix.
How does cryotherapy affect pregnancy?
Cryotherapy shouldn’t affect the ability to get pregnant in the future unless a very rare complication occurs. In cases where the abnormal cells are detected during pregnancy, doctors may wait until patients give birth to treat abnormal cervical cells. Delaying treatment is usually safe because it generally takes a long time for abnormal cervical cells to become cancerous.
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Common Medical Abbreviations & Terms
Doctors, pharmacists, and other health-care professionals use abbreviations, acronyms, and other terminology for instructions and information in regard to a patient's health condition, prescription drugs they are to take, or medical procedures that have been ordered. There is no approved this list of common medical abbreviations, acronyms, and terminology used by doctors and other health- care professionals. You can use this list of medical abbreviations and acronyms written by our doctors the next time you can't understand what is on your prescription package, blood test results, or medical procedure orders. Examples include:
- ANED: Alive no evidence of disease. The patient arrived in the ER alive with no evidence of disease.
- ARF: Acute renal (kidney) failure
- cap: Capsule.
- CPAP: Continuous positive airway pressure. A treatment for sleep apnea.
- DJD: Degenerative joint disease. Another term for osteoarthritis.
- DM: Diabetes mellitus. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
- HA: Headache
- IBD: Inflammatory bowel disease. A name for two disorders of the gastrointestinal (BI) tract, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
- JT: Joint
- N/V: Nausea or vomiting.
- p.o.: By mouth. From the Latin terminology per os.
- q.i.d.: Four times daily. As in taking a medicine four times daily.
- RA: Rheumatoid arthritis
- SOB: Shortness of breath.
- T: Temperature. Temperature is recorded as part of the physical examination. It is one of the "vital signs."
cryoprecipitateCryoprecipitate is a blood product containing specialized insoluble blood proteins known as coagulation factors that regulate the clotting and clot-dissolving processes. Cryoprecipitate is obtained from plasma, the fluid component of blood, and is used to treat patients with blood clotting (coagulation) disorders and to control hemorrhage during major surgery or during and after childbirth. Common side effects of cryoprecipitate include transfusion-related complications, allergic reactions, and post-transfusion bruising (purpura).
Is Cervical Cryosurgery Painful?Cervical cryotherapy is a medical procedure that involves freezing and destroying the abnormal tissue in the cervix (the lower part of the uterus). The procedure may cause some discomfort. Women report some cramping or pressure and a sensation of cold in the vaginal area.
propofolPropofol is an intravenous anesthetic drug used for general anesthesia and sedation during surgical procedures. Common side effects of propofol include injection site burning, stinging or pain; low blood pressure (hypotension), reduced cardiac output, elevated blood pressure (hypertension), pause in breathing (apnea), lung impairment (respiratory acidosis), impaired movement, high level of emulsified fats in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and high triglyceride level in blood (hypertriglyceridemia). Abuse of propofol can cause death and other injuries.
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succinylcholineSuccinylcholine is a skeletal muscle relaxant used for medical procedures done under general anesthesia, including tracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation, and surgeries. Common side effects of succinylcholine include postoperative muscle pain, jaw rigidity, muscle twitch (fasciculation), respiratory depression, cessation of breathing (apnea), low or high blood pressure (hypotension or hypertension), irregular heart rhythms (cardiac arrhythmias), slow or rapid heartbeat (bradycardia or tachycardia), cardiac arrest, increase in intraocular pressure (IOP), high blood potassium levels (hyperkalemia), severe life-threatening drug reaction with excessively high temperature (malignant hyperthermia), salivary gland enlargement, excessive salivation, rash, hypersensitivity reactions, and others.