History and Future of Cryosurgery

Cold procedures have been impressed with their known effectiveness in humans for hundreds of years.

"Cold" as a modern stimulation- or regulation therapy is now part of natural medicine. By selectively heat-extraction of individual body tissues the achieved temperature reduction excites healthful reactions .

It’s spoken from cryo-, freezing-,  kyro-surgery  when the freezing temperatures during the tissue destruction are far below freezing point. This basis research in the cryo-medicine on the basis of good scientifically practice in Europe we have to owe to Dresden’s  team of doctors led by Professor Wolfgang Matthäus early 60's years. In the U.S. the first well-directed N2-cooled probe was employed by surgeon Cooper.

Since that time modern cryosurgery is based on theoretical, clinical and experimental experiences ,whereat  the technical know-how advance is often pushed back due to conflict of interests.

The current internationally and nationally known applied cryo-surgical procedures that are performed both on skin lesions and inside the body in the temperature range from -196° C with liquid nitrogen (N2) , go back to a state of knowledge, which has established itself over a long time. But  the expectations of well-informed patients are on the increase  in the meantime.

The rapid development of new technical materials and processes has enabled to design to the modern cryo-medicine a simplified cryosurgical-system that is economically affordable and has small equipment costs ( Verlag München Daily Practice 2001, 42: 311 - 314) .

The established  nitrogen freezing (- 196 ° C) is enlarged with “Liquid freezing"-system  with its not quite as deep freezing temperatures of the liquid nitrous oxide (N2O) from -89 ° C as well as "Contact freezing" in closed probes for superficial skin lesions  and above all, because of the lower cryogenic adhesive effect of oral and genital skin transition than nitrogen (N²)  (Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart - New York  Dermatol 2009; 35: 279-282 ). The sufficient effect of the liquid N2O is used for many skin lesions  and must not be underestimated, compared often to N2  ; Independent Clinical studies show that the "range, not the effect within the effective range is smaller" (Verlag Urban & Vogel , München “Der Deutsche Dermatologe" 1 / 2003). Here still it should be mentioned  that CO2 snow with a temperature of -79 ° C is counted among the 3 today’s current-acting coolant spectrum which  is used also effectively in dermatology  treatments.

Modern cryosurgery with controllable performance parameters is a indispensable prerequisite for reproducible therapeutic results. She has shown a well- proven alternative to conventional therapies (laser, scalpel, drugs ...)a long time ago. In addition to good aesthetic results cold treatments are well- tolerated by patients. They are done as an outpatient and require only short treatment. The recovery time is a fraction of the usual times.Effective cryosurgery (no crude freezing) is well-qualified as preventive medicine in der dermatology.

A challenge for CRYOALFA with its "Liquid freezing"- system lays in the development of a miniaturized method for freezing for the application inside the body, such as prostate or liver treatments. That means a gentle treatment for the patient where the patient is again the focus of its health care under practice art of medical treatment.


Matthäus, Wolfgang “Cryotherapy in ophthalmology and dermatology and basic therapeutic application of cold “ (JA Barth Verlag Leipzig, 1989)

Hundeiker M, Sebastian G, Bassukas ID, Ernst K.” Recommendation on quality assurance 14 K”: Cryotherapy in dermatology (ABW-Science Publishing 2007)

Hundeiker M, History and Future of Cryosurgery in Dermatology (Gerog Thieme Verlag,2009)