Laser-assisted cryosurgery of prostate: Numerical study Article uri icon


  • A new methodology for preventing freezing damage beyond pre-specified boundaries during prostate cryosurgery is proposed herein. It consists of emitting controlled laser irradiation from the urethra, across the wall and into the prostate while conventional cryoprobes freeze the unwanted prostate tissue. The purpose of this methodology is to protect the urethral wall better and confine the desired cryoinjured region more accurately than the current cryosurgery approach. We also explore the potential use of light-absorbing dyes to further enhance the laser light absorption and corresponding heat generation to increase the thickness of the protected region. A finite difference heat diffusion model in polar coordinates with temperature-dependent thermophysical properties simulates the prostate freezing while laser irradiation across the urethral wall is emitted. This approach maintains the temperature of the urethral wall and the adjacent tissue above a pre-specified threshold temperature of -45°C, independent of application time. Temperature contours resulting from prostate cryoablation with (a) conventional constant temperature heating; (b) laser irradiation heating; and (c) laser irradiation heating with pre-injected light-absorbing dye layers indicate that the thickness of the protected region increases in this order, and that the latter two methodologies may be more effective in limiting cryoinjury to a predefined region compared to constant temperature heating. An analysis of laser power requirements and sensibility of laser-assisted cryosurgery (LAC) of prostate is also presented. It is shown that tissue temperature may vary as much as ±20°C with variations of ±10%25 in laser power relative to the nominal power required to maintain the tissue at 37°C. This demonstrates the sensitivity to laser power and the need of an accurate laser power control algorithm. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.

publication date

  • 2007-01-01