Principles of cryosurgery

T. D.I. Wilkes, F. T. Fraunfelder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The mechanism by which a cryogen destroys cells is complex. The formation of a hemispherical iceball composed of thermogradients, each of which maintains a temperature proportional to its distance from the application point, initiates the cryoinjury. The cardinal rule of cryosurgery includes a rapid freeze, which produces highly damaging intracellular ice formation and closely-packed thermogradients, coupled with a slow thaw. Multiple freeze/thaw cycles are most destructive, producing ischemic necrosis. Histological and clinical aspects are discussed, as well as complications and follow-up procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-30
Number of pages10
JournalOphthalmic Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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