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November 1964

Cryosurgery in Ophthalmology

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;72(5):590-591. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970020590002

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Cryosurgery has been used with a measure of success recently in several fields of medicine. For example, stomachs of ulcer patients have been frozen with moderate improvement of the disease. Selected areas of the brain have been cauterized by freezing in patients afflicted with Parkinson's disease. In ophthalmology cryosurgery has been employed during the past year in the treatment of retinal detachments, cataracts, and glaucoma.

This new technique consists of applying subfreezing temperatures to various organs and tissues of the body. At present our knowledge of the biochemical and physiological factors involved when freezing temperatures are applied to living cells is meager. In general, the histological studies demonstrate a considerable destruction of the smaller blood vessels and capillaries, while the larger vessels are less involved. There is a considerable variation in damage to the individual cells; certain types of cells are more likely to be destroyed by the cold than

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