Anne C. Pappas Center for Breast Imaging
Rhode Island Hospital


Cryoablation therapy is an alternative to surgery (lumpectomy) that kills cancer cells using extreme cold. Used to treat primary, early-stage invasive breast cancer, a needle is inserted through the skin and guided by ultrasound. The needle, which contains liquid nitrogen, is inserted directly into the cancerous area to kill the diseased tissue. Only a tiny incision, small enough to be covered by a Band-Aid, is needed.

Cryoablation creates a ball of ice that encases the tumor and a small amount of normal breast tissue. A cycle of freezing and thawing is used during the treatment, which lasts about 30 minutes. When the tissue dies, the immune system’s white blood cells clear away any residue. Over time, healthy tissue fills in the treated area.

You can learn more about cryoblation by speaking to one of our experts by calling 401-444-7770, or by emailing

Learn about the Anne C. Pappas Breast Imaging Team.