Focal Cryoablation Therapy

A Revolutionary Way to Strike Out Prostate Cancer

Focal cryoablation therapy is an FDA-approved, minimally-invasive procedure that targets prostate cancer. It is the most advanced approach to treating prostate cancer while keeping men whole. The procedure involves needle-thin probes guided by MRI and ultrasound that direct a special gas to freeze and kill the cells of small tumors without damaging healthy tissue. It is so precise that it destroys cancerous cells without the need to remove the prostate. This enhances quality of life and minimizes debilitating side effects like pain, erectile dysfunction, urinary leaking, and incontinence.

Doctors have used cryoablation to successfully treat breast, colon and kidney cancer for over a decade. Louis Liou, MD, PhD, (pictured at right) is one of just a few doctors in New England who specialize in focal cryoablation for prostate cancer. He is a urologic surgeon specially trained in the procedure, and for more than ten years has used cryoablation to treat hundreds of men with excellent results. Emerson is the only hospital in New England to have the latest technology that precisely targets the areas of the prostate that have cancer while preserving the areas that are not cancerous. This is critical to maintaining a man’s abilities.

The procedure is performed in an operating room while the patient is sedated. Using a cryotherapy machine designed for cryoablation, probes are frozen to -100 degrees Celsius (-148 degrees Fahrenheit). Guided by MRI and ultrasound, the probes are inserted directly into the cancer to cut off the blood supply and ablate the cancer.

“Cryoablation is a drone strike for prostate cancer. This is a revolutionary option for patients to avoid difficult side effects of traditional prostate surgery and radiation.” — Louis Liou, MD, PhD

Is focal cryoablation for you?

Our urologists will discuss options with you based on your medical history, genetics, and type of prostate cancer. They work closely with you to customize your care and support your goals and lifestyle. Focal cryoablation is often a good option for men with:

  • Small, localized prostate tumors and/or,
  • Recurring prostate cancer that was previously treated with radiation

What are the benefits?

The primary benefit of focal cryoablation therapy is the removal of prostate cancer. While the long-term outcomes of the procedure are not fully known, there are many studies that show very positive results.

Other benefits include:

  • Less invasive surgery — Patients usually go home the same day with fewer side effects.
  • Faster recovery time — Most patients return to their regular lifestyle two to three days after the procedure.
  • No life-altering or lasting side effects, such as incontinence or loss of function
  • No need for radiation

After cryoablation focal therapy, follow-up care may include routine doctor visits, PSA tests, and biopsies. Following the procedure, patients have a catheter for about one week. It is then removed by the urologist during an office visit.

Other considerations

Choosing the right treatment is a personal choice. We encourage our patients to decide with their family and doctor, based on their medical history, genetics, and lifestyle. Learn more about prostate cancer and its additional treatment options.

Learn More

Listen to Dr. Liou discuss prostate cancer screening, management and treatment, and focal cryoablation therapy in this Health Works Here podcast.

Contact Us

If you're interested in talking with one of our urologists or would like to schedule an appointment, please call 978-287-8950 or fill out this online form and someone from our office will follow up with you.