Cryoablation is a treatment to kill cancer cells with extreme cold. Cryoablation may be used to treat cancer when surgery isn't an option. Cryoablation is sometimes used as a primary treatment for cancer of the kidney, liver, lung and prostate. Cryoablation is also used to relieve the pain of many different types of cancer that spread to the bone (bone metastasis) or other organs.

Cryoablation may also be called percutaneous ablation, cryosurgery or cryotherapy.

During cryoablation, a thin, wand-like device (cryoprobe) is inserted through your skin to the cancer. A gas is used to freeze the tissue. Then the tissue is allowed to thaw. The process may be repeated during the same treatment session.

Read more about kidney cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, cryotherapy for prostate cancer and bone metastasis.

  • Teamwork. Cryoablation treatment is directed by a specially trained interventional radiologist who works closely with other experts to coordinate your care. The makeup of your treatment team depends on your situation, but it could include medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons, along with other experts, as needed.
  • Latest technology. Mayo Clinic radiologists have the latest imaging technology at their disposal to help ensure accuracy. Using imaging technology as a guide, radiologists guide cryoprobes to precise locations in and around the cancer. Advanced imaging technology allows radiologists to monitor treatment in real time.
  • Access to experimental treatments. Mayo Clinic researchers are conducting clinical trials to find new ways to use cryoablation. Clinical trials may give you the chance to try experimental treatments for your cancer.
  • Comprehensive cancer center. Mayo Clinic Cancer Center meets strict standards for a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, which recognizes scientific excellence and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked high performing for cancer by U.S. News & World Report.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Cryoablation is performed by radiologists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. These specialists work with others, such as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons to coordinate your care.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Cryoablation is performed by radiologists at Mayo Clinic in Florida. These specialists work with others, such as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons to coordinate your care.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Cryoablation is performed by radiologists at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. These specialists work with others, such as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgeons to coordinate your care.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 507-538-3270 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Researchers at Mayo Clinic are investigating new uses for cryoablation. Cryoablation research at Mayo Clinic is done in coordination with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center receives funding from the National Cancer Institute and is designated as a comprehensive cancer center — recognition for an institution's scientific excellence and multidisciplinary resources focused on cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on cryoablation for cancer on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.