Computerized Planning of Cryosurgery Using Cryoprobes and Cryoheaters

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In a typical minimally invasive cryoprocedure, multiple cryoprobes are inserted into the tissue with the goal of maximizing cryoinjury within a predefined target region, while minimizing cryoinjury to the surrounding tissues. A temperature-controlled electrical heater has been developed recently by this research team, in order to assist in limiting the cryoinjury to the target region. The new device has been termed a ‘cryoheater,’ and it can work with any cryosurgical cooling technique. A prototype computerized planning tool has been presented recently by this research team, which helps to determine the best locations in which to insert the cryoprobes. This prototype was designed for cryoprobes only. The planning procedure utilized a novel iterative optimization technique, based on a force-field analogy. The combination of cryoheaters with computerized planning is the subject matter of this report. The current report includes a review of cryoheater development, and presents an improved cryosurgery planning tool which incorporates cryoheaters.

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