Cryosurgical ablation, or cryosurgery, involves freezing of target tissues, usually by inserting a probe into the tumor through which coolant is circulated. Cryosurgery may be performed as an open surgical technique or as a closed procedure under laparoscopic or ultrasound guidance. National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN, 2007) hepatocellular carcinoma guidelines state that microwave ablation, cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and percutaneous ethanol injection may be used in the treatment of unresectable nonmetastatic hepatocellular carcinoma, for patients with nonmetastatic hepatocellular carcinoma who do not agree to surgery, and to treat hepatocellular carcinoma which is local but inoperable (e.g,, due to poor performance status or presence of comorbidity). NCCN guidelines make no distinction with respect to these different ablative methods.
nccn,org, hepatobiliary, p. 16
Basics of Cryosurgery by Nikolai N. Korpan (Springer; 1 edition (December 18, 2001), Ch.9