The role of cryosurgery in external ocular and periocular disease

F. T. Fraunfelder, T. R. Wallace, H. E. Farris, J. Watkins IIIrd, R. Hendrickson, W. J. Smead, B. L. Limmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


This preliminary report suggests that cryosurgery has a definite place in the management of certain external periocular and ocular problems. Cryosurgery for basal or squamous cell carcinoma of the lid is easily performed, gives excellent cosmetic results, and has a low recurrence rate. It is not recommended for lesions involving the fornices, or sclerotic and morphea type basal cell carcinomas. Tumor recurrences following radiation, surgery, or cryosurgery can still be retreated with cryosurgery. To date, there is no evidence that cryosurgery at temperatures above -40 C causes damage to the lacrimal outflow system. Cryosurgery is of value in the management of trichiasis, reactive lymphoid hyperplasia, spider hemangioma, molluscum contagiosum, and conjunctival dysplasia. Cryotherapy for management of intraepithelial epithelioma and squamous cell carcinoma of the conjunctiva and cornea is still under investigation. Cryosurgery will, in the authors' opinion, become the treatment of choice for basal and squamous cell carcinomas of the eyelids. The 96% cure rate with 1 treatment for these lesions reported here is artificially high since the followup period is too short. However, retreatment with cryosurgery is a simple 10 min outpatient procedure which is certainly not the case with recurrences after other forms of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-724
Number of pages12
JournalTransactions of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology
Issue number4 I
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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