Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2000;2:157-87. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bioeng.2.1.157.


Cryosurgery is a surgical technique that employs freezing to destroy undesirable tissue. Developed first in the middle of the nineteenth century it has recently incorporated new imaging technologies and is a fast growing minimally invasive surgical technique. A historical review of the field of cryosurgery is presented, showing how technological advances have affected the development of the field. This is followed by a more in-depth survey of two important topics in cryosurgery: (a) the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms of tissue destruction during cryosurgery and (b) monitoring and imaging techniques for cryosurgery.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Death
  • Cryosurgery* / history
  • Cryosurgery* / methods
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Monitoring, Intraoperative
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured