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August 1969

Cryosurgery of Skin Cancer

Arch Dermatol. 1969;100(2):261. doi:10.1001/archderm.1969.01610260137030

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Cryosurgery is having a renaissance in many surgical specialties including dermatology. Informative texts in the area should be most timely. Unfortunately, Dr. Zacarian's monograph is not only disappointing but is also carelessly written and full of errors so that it is a disservice to the field and to dermatology.

Dr. Zacarian contributed to dermatological cryosurgery by designing copper discs which can be chilled in liquid nitrogen and used as cryoprobes. He has had considerable experience in treating skin cancers with this method, which was used for treating most of the cases reported in the book. However, he downgrades his own technique stating that he no longer uses it, and advocates as his present method of choice, a liquid nitrogen spray technique pioneered by others, and with which he has had only limited experience.

In the book he does not establish adequate criteria for selection of patients with epitheliomata for cryosurgery

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