The Patient Experience
Unlike a lumpectomy, cryoablation is minimally invasive. The procedure is performed in your doctor's office rather than an operating room in a hospital or surgery center. Additionally, the procedure takes under 30 minutes versus 1 hour for surgical excision. Your physician will inject local anesthesia to numb the treated area. A small incision (approximately 3 mm) is made and an ultrasound guided probe is inserted directly into the tumor. The tip of the probe will become extremely cold and freeze the tumor, thereby destroying it. The probe will then be removed and a small bandage placed over the incision site.
Most women who have had this procedure have reported no significant pain due to the natural anesthetic properties of the cold temperature.
Because no tissue is removed from the breast and the procedure does not require stitches, no indentation from volume deficit will occur and there should be little to no visible scarring. You should be able to return to your daily routine the next day.
After the Procedure
In the days following cryoablation, the most common observation is minor bruising which usually disappears within a week. The cryoablated tissue absorbs back into the body over time. The speed at which absorption occurs depends on the size of the lesion and your body's ability to heal itself. You may still feel a lump post-procedure but it should gradually diminish in size, usually over 3-18 months. To date, thousands of cryoablation procedures have been completed successfully using the Visica® Treatment System.
Watch the Treatment Video here.