Cryoablation of benign breast tumors: Evolution of technique and technology
We report on improvements in cryoprobe design and techniques of cryoablation as a minimally invasive alternative to open surgery for the treatment of benign breast tumors. In the study, which was conducted in 12 centers, 124 lesions in 102 patients were monitored for a period of 12 months after cryoablation. Two different treatment techniques were used: Double HI FREEZE and Tailored Freeze. In patients treated with the Tailored Freeze technique significantly better results were recorded 12 months after the procedure: the median reduction in tumor volume was 91%, 73% of all tumors treated were nonpalpable, 84% of lesions less than 2.5 cm in maximum diameter were nonpalpable, and none of the 31 mammograms performed yielded abnormal findings. Patient satisfaction was good to excellent in 92% of the patients. The safety profile of this technique was excellent; all complications were minor. Evolution of cryoablation freezing techniques, coupled with improvements in cryoprobe design, has resulted in significant improvements in both safety and effectiveness.