Cryosurgery is the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. The term comes from the Greek words cryo and surgery meaning "hand work" or "handiwork". Cryosurgery has been historically used to treat a number of diseases and disorders, especially a variety of benign and malignant skin conditions.
Warts, moles, skin tags, solar keratoses, Morton's neuroma and small skin cancers are candidates for cryosurgical treatment. Several internal disorders are also treated with cryosurgery, including liver cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, oral cancers, cervical disorders and more commonly in the past, hemorhhoids. Soft tissue conditionas such as plantar fasciitis and fibroma can be treated with cryosurgery. Generally, all tumors that can be reached by the cryoprobes used during an operation are treatable. Although found to be effective, this method of treatment is only appropriate for use against localized disease, and solid tumors larger than 1cm. Tiny, diffuse ,metastases that often coincide with cancers are usually not affected by cryotherapy.