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Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer


Cryosurgery, also called cryotherapy or cryoablation, is surgery to treat prostate cancer by freezing the prostate cancer cells. The prostate is a male sex gland that helps make semen.

Male Reproductive System


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
  • You cough up blood.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You cannot urinate, or if you have a catheter, no urine is filling the bag.
  • You have a blocked catheter or a problem with your catheter.
  • You have redness, pain, blood, or drainage where the catheter enters your penis.
  • Your urine smells bad or becomes red and cloudy.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have pain that does not decrease or go away after you take your medicine.
  • Your urine looks pink, or you have trouble urinating.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You are dizzy, nauseated, or vomiting.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take this medicine.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Ask when to return to have your wound checked, catheter taken out, or stitches removed. Ask if you need to have radiation therapy and when you need to return for the treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Do pelvic floor exercises as directed:

The exercises squeeze your pelvic floor muscles and help them become stronger. To do pelvic floor exercises, squeeze your muscles like you want to stop urinating. Hold for 3 seconds and then relax. Ask your healthcare provider when to start doing these exercises, and how often to do them.

Wound care:

When you are allowed to bathe or shower, carefully wash the incisions with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Bladder care:

  • You may need to learn how to replace a catheter. A catheter is a soft rubber tube that you put into your urethra to drain your urine. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on self-catheterization and catheter care.
  • Do not let your bladder become too full before you empty it. Set regular times each day to urinate. Urinate as soon as you feel the need. Try to urinate every 3 hours while you are awake. Do not drink liquids right before you go to bed. At bedtime, urinate before you lie down. This will keep you from having to get up to urinate after you go to bed.

Sexual activity:

Ask when you can start to have sex again. After cryosurgery, you may have problems such as trouble having an erection. These problems may not last long and most can be helped. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have concerns.

Do not smoke:

Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage and increase your risk for new or returning cancer. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Cryosurgery for Prostate Cancer (Discharge Care)

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Further information

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