Cryosurgery of the Cervix


This procedure is used to freeze and destroy abnormal cells in the cervix. Cryosurgery is a common treatment for precancerous cells, a condition known as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.


In preparation for the procedure, the patient is positioned and a speculum is inserted into the vagina to expose the cervix. The physician places a microscopic viewing device called a colposcope at the entrance of the vagina. The colposcope provides an illuminated, magnified view of the cervix. The cervix may be numbed with an anesthetic injection, and forceps may be inserted into the vagina to grasp and support the cervix.

Destroying the Abnormal Cells

The physician will use a device called a cryoprobe to treat the cervix. The slender tip of the cryoprobe is carefully placed against the abnormal cervical tissue. The physician activates the probe, delivering a controlled burst of supercooled nitrogen gas to freeze the cervix. After three minutes the probe is deactivated and the tissue is allowed to thaw, and then the process is repeated. The freezing process destroys the abnormal cells.

End of Procedure

When the procedure is complete, the instruments are removed and the patient is allowed to go home. The physician will provide aftercare instructions.