Munson Health
Cervical Cryosurgery

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What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

You may want to plan for someone to drive you home.
Normally, no medicines are needed for this procedure. However, pain medicines such as ibuprofen (for example, Advil), naproxen (for example, Aleve), or acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol) are usually taken. They should be taken about an hour before your appointment. Ask your doctor if this is recommended for you.

Description of Procedure

You will lie on an exam table with your feet in foot rests, as you would for a pelvic exam. A device called a speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open. The cryosurgery probe is inserted into the vagina. Nitrous oxide makes the tip extremely cold. The tip is touched to abnormal areas on the cervix. It is held there for a few minutes. You may feel some cramping. The tip is removed. This allows the tissue to return to its normal temperature over the course of 3-5 minutes. This freezing and thawing cycle may be repeated several times for each abnormal area on the cervix.
You will remain lying down for at least ten minutes after the procedure. Some women may feel dizzy and/or flushed after the procedure.

How Long Will It Take?

10-20 minutes

Will It Hurt?

You will probably feel some cramping during the procedure. Some women also describe a burning sensation.


National Cancer Institute




The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada

Women's Health Matters



Cryosurgery of the cervix. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: Updated November 2, 2009. Accessed December 19, 2012.

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Sankaranayanan R, Rajkumar R, et al. Effectiveness, safety and acceptability of see-and-treat with cryosurgery by nurses in a cervical screening study in India. Br J Cancer. 2007;96(5):738-743.

6/2/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.


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