Percutaneous Cryotherapy

What does the procedure involve?

This procedure involves freezing the tumour – which is intended to kill the cells in it – using needles that will be inserted into it using the CT scanner to guide insertion. Your procedure will be carried out under conscious sedation which means that you will feel no pain, will be sleepy but not completely unconscious, or general anaesthetic in which case you will be completely asleep. Whether you have sedation or an anaesthetic will be decided in the pre-procedure clinic visit when you meet the anaesthetist. The treatment will be performed in the CT scanning suite.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

Your doctor will discuss the intended benefits of this treatment with you prior to admission. The object of the procedure is to eradicate the known tumour or to shrink it to minimise the effect it has on you

Are there any alternatives to this procedure?

There are a number of alternative treatments available including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, radiofrequency ablation or microwave ablation. These should all have been discussed with you in the out-patient clinic including why it was felt by the multi-disciplinary team that Cryotherapy was the most appropriate treatment choice. If you have any further questions please ask your doctor before signing this form

What would be the effects of no treatment?

It is likely that the tumour will increase in size with an increasing likelihood that it may spread to other organs in the body.

Are there any risks?

The most common and important risks are:

  • Pneumothorax – in other words ‘air in the chest’ – which can act to collapse part or all, of the lung. This happens in about 20% (20 out of every 100 who undergo the procedure) of people to some degree but most do not need any treatment. In those who do, a small drain is inserted into the chest to drain away the air and re-inflate the lung. This will be done either during or after the procedure as required and can be done using local anaesthetic. You may be required to stay in hospital if this happens.
  • Haemoptysis – in other words ‘coughing up some blood’ – occasionally occurs in approximately 5% of patients (5 out of every 100 patients) for a day or so after the procedure and is usually stops without treatment.
  • Infection – can occur after ablation – this happens in less than 1 in 100 patients with normal lungs and approximately 5 in 100 patients with advanced lung disease – so you will be given antibiotics during your ‘pre-med’ and for up to a week afterwards. Please ensure you advise all staff of any allergies you have.

Consultants linked to treatment

Location where service is offered

Royal Brompton Hospital and Harefield Hospital

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