Cryocautery or cryosurgery is a procedure that uses very cold temperatures to treat abnormalities of the female genital tract in addition to other areas of the body such as the skin. Very cold temperatures cause tissue destruction just as very hot temperatures do (a burn). The advantage of using a very cold temperature is there is much less discomfort than with hot temperature. The most common reasons for performing a cryocautery in gynecology are
- abnormalities of the cervix as demonstrated on Pap smear or colposcopy,
- resistant infections of the cervix, and
- severe cervical erosion (tissue that may cause cervical bleeding and/or heavy discharge).
- lesions in the vagina and also on the skin just outside the vagina.