To treat a certain type of endometriosis, cryoablation, derived from cryotherapy, is used.
Endometriosis can be pelvic (this is the best known form that affects the internal genitalia and the bladder), but also parietal. The latter is related to the presence of endometrium-like tissue outside the uterus. It is more rarely diagnosed, but just as painful if we are to believe a recent press release from the University Hospitals of Strasbourg and Boston Scientific. To treat it, we can practice cryotherapy. Explanations.
“Endometrial cells nest in the muscle tissue of the abdomen – often in the rectus abdominis muscle – usually in the membrane (aponeurosis) that covers them, more rarely inside the muscle itself , forming nodules, from 2 mm to 3 cm” explains Doctor Faller, gynecological surgeon at the EndoAlsace expert center of the University Hospital of Strasbourg. This type of endometriosis tends to be more superficial, but no less disabling. It would declare itself around a scar, within two years after “gynecological surgery, laparoscopy and most frequently, cesarean section”, notes the report.
One hour of cryotherapy to treat endometriosis
In first intention, the recommendations are to give the patient hormonal treatment. And if the latter is not enough, to go to surgery, which had the disadvantage ofdamage the area, to be “damaging” according to the doctors. But there is another method, called cryoablation, which involves destroy nodules by cold (at -40 degrees)was born in 2017.
It is a one-hour intervention, performed by a radiologist, much less invasive than conventional surgery. After an MRI to locate the nodules, one or more fine cryotherapy needles are introduced through the skin of the abdomen after local anesthesia. “The actual operation then consists of use two or three cryotherapy needles to circulate a refrigerant gas – non-toxic – to the heart of the nodule to destroy the cells“, notes the press release from the CHRU of Strasbourg which has developed this technique dedicated to parietal endometriosis.
Then, the tip of the needles is warmed up to be able to extract the nodule. Following the operation, there remains fibrosis, which will subside thereafter. From the next cycle, patients can see the effects of healing parietal endometriosis. If the doctors have only a few years of hindsight on this technique, they note a very low recurrence rate (less than 5%).