Graphics Processing Unit-Based Bioheat Simulation to Facilitate Rapid Decision Making Associated with Cryosurgery Training
- May 3, 2015
A common method of freezing lesions is using liquid nitrogen as the cooling solution. The super-cooled liquid may be sprayed on the diseased tissue, circulated through a tube called a cryoprobe, or simply dabbed on with a cotton or foam swab.
Less frequently, doctors use carbon dioxide "snow" formed into a cylinder or mixed with acetone to form a slush that is applied directly to the treated tissue.
Recent advances in technology have allowed for the use of argon gas to drive ice formation using a principle known as the Joule-Thomson effect. This gives physicians excellent control of the ice, and minimizing complications using ultra-thin 17 gauge cryoneedles.
A mixture of dimethyl ether and propane is used in some preparations such as Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away. The mixture is stored in an aerosol spray type container at room temperature and drops to −41 °C (−42 °F) when dispensed. The mixture is often dispensed into a straw with a cotton-tipped swab.
A number of medical supply companies have developed cryogen delivery systems for cryosurgery. Most are based on the use of liquid nitrogen, although some employ the use of proprietary mixtures of gases that combine to form the cryogen. Some commonly used cryosurgical products are:
Cryosurgery is a minimally invasive procedure, and is often preferred to more traditional kinds of surgery because of its minimal pain, scarring, and cost; however, as with any medical treatment, there are risks involved, primarily that of damage to nearby healthy tissue. Damage to nerve tissue is of particular concern.
Patients undergoing cryosurgery usually experience redness and minor-to-moderate localized pain, which most of the time can be alleviated sufficiently by oral administration of mild analgesics such as Ibuprofen, codeine, tramadol or acetaminophen (paracetamol). Blisters may form as a result of cryosurgery, but these usually scab over and peel away within a few days.
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