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Prostate Cancer - Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery uses liquid nitrogen to freeze and kill prostate cancer cells. Guided by ultrasound, the doctor places needles in pre-selected locations in the prostate gland. The needle tracks are dilated for the thin metal cryo probes to be inserted through the skin of the perineum into the prostate. Liquid nitrogen in the cryo probes forms an ice ball that freezes the prostate cancer cells; as the cells thaw, they rupture. The procedure takes about two hours, requires anesthesia (either general or spinal), and requires one or two days in the hospital.

The appearance of prostate tissue in ultrasound images changes when it is frozen. To be sure enough prostate tissue is destroyed without too much damage to nearby tissues, the surgeon carefully watches these images during the procedure.

Current techniques using ultrasound guidance and precise temperature monitoring have only been available for a few years. Outcomes of long-term (10- to 15-year) follow-up must still be collected and analyzed. For this reason, most doctors do not include cryosurgery among the options they routinely consider for initial treatment of prostate cancer.

PN 1002349 Rev A 04/2013

Important Safety Information

Serious complications may occur in any surgery, including da Vinci® Surgery, up to and including death. Individual surgical results may vary. Patients should talk to their doctor to decide if da Vinci Surgery is right for them. Patients and doctors should review all available information on non-surgical and surgical options in order to make an informed decision. Please also refer to  http://www.daVinciSurgery.com/Safety for Important Safety Information.

When Is Single-Site Technology Used and What Are the Risks?

da Vinci Surgery with Single-Site® Instruments is cleared for use in gallbladder removal, and for hysterectomy and ovary removal for benign conditions. Patients who are not candidates for non-robotic minimally invasive surgery are also not candidates for da Vinci Surgery, including da Vinci Surgery with Single-Site Instruments. There may be an increased risk of incision-site hernia with single-incision surgery, including Single-Site surgery with the da Vinci System.


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