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Benign Conditions of the Breast
Cryoablation of Fibroadenomas

What is cryoablation therapy?
Cryoablation is a process of using cold therapy to treat a benign tumor. The process begins after your biopsy when your surgeon has determined that the lump in your breast is benign (noncancerous) by a tissue diagnosis. This procedure is used most commonly with fibroadenomas. Previously, fibroadenomas required surgery for removal. Cryoablation is a less invasive way to treat fibroadenomas.

Where can the procedure be done?
The procedure can be done as an outpatient in the office of a trained physician.

How is the procedure done?
The procedure is done by first numbing your breast with some local anesthesia. Your surgeon will then make a very tiny incision to insert the probe into the lump. Ultrasound will be used to locate the lump and visualize the exact placement of the probe. Ultrasound will help guide your surgeon throughout the entire procedure.

What happens to the fibroadenoma after the freezing is completed?
The tissue that is destroyed by freezing is reabsorbed into your body over time. Depending on the size of the lump, it can take from approximately 6 months to 1 year.

Is the treatment painful?
Most women who have had this procedure have a minimal amount of discomfort. There is a small amount of stinging when the local anesthesia is given. The area may have minimal discomfort when the actual freezing is done. But due to the natural anesthetic properties of the cold temperature, very little pain is felt during the cryoablation procedure. The treated area may feel tender to the touch for up to several days following the procedure.

How long does the procedure take?
The procedure is done in the physician’s office and usually takes 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

Will I have scarring?
Since no tissue is removed from the breast, no stitches are necessary. Some bruising and swelling may occur at the site, but will go away within a few weeks. There should be no visible scarring, though sometimes a small mark is visible where the probe has been inserted.

Will I need a ride home after the procedure?
Since the procedure requires only local anesthesia, you should not have to arrange for a ride home. If your physician prescribes you a sedative, then you will be required to have someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

What kind of follow-up is required after cryoablation?
We will ask you to come back in one month to check the treated area. After that, we will have you come back at three months, six months, and one year for repeat evaluation. We will follow the cryoablation site by using ultrasound and examination to determine the fibroadenoma has regressed or resolved. Usually this process takes six months to one year, depending on the size of the fibroadenoma.

For more information or questions regarding the procedure call 847-797-9000.

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