Table of Contents
HPB Surgery
Volume 8, Issue 3, Pages 167-173

Cryotherapy of Liver Tumours–A Practical Guide

1University of New South Wales, Department of Surgery, The St. George Hospital, Australia
2University of New South Wales, Anaesthetic Department, The St. George Hospital, Australia
3University of New South Wales, Department of Surgery, The St. George Hospital Kogarah, Sydney 2217, NSW, Australia

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The use of cryotherapy for the treatment of some unresectable liver tumours has been clearly established as a therapeutic option. Intra-operative ultrasound has enhanced the process by enabling the surgeon to identify hepatic lesions and to allow visualisation of the freezing process to ensure that the cryolesion will include the tumour mass. The purpose of this paper is to provide a practical guide to surgeons who wish to perform cryotherapy of liver tumours. Patient selection and anaesthetic considerations are important. The surgeon should be able to deal with the complications of cryotherapy, particularly the intra-operative haemorrhage which may arise from cracking of the hepatic parenchyma as the iceball thaws. Follow-up is based on tumour marker assay and imaging of the liver and repeat cryotherapy can be considered for selected cases.