First procedure of freezing malignant breast tumor performed in Croatia

ZAGREB, 8 May (Hina) – The Sisters of Mercy Hospital in Zagreb was the first in Croatia to perform the freezing of a malignant breast tumor, which represents an important innovation in the field of minimally invasive procedures for oncology patients.

Cryoablation, or freezing of tumors, has been used in that hospital for two years, but until now this procedure was used to treat kidney, lung and bone cancer, and from today it will also be used for breast cancer, the hospital announced on Wednesday.

“Cryoablation is a technique that freezes only harmful tissues and tumors and destroys them in a targeted manner, without implications for the surrounding healthy tissue,” Luka Novosel, head of the Interventional Radiology Department, explained.

The procedure consists of precise guidance of needle probes through the skin, which are placed in the tumor using an ultrasound device, followed by creating an ice zone, up to three centimeters in diameter, which destroys tumor cells.

“With this procedure, the remaining part of the patient’s breast is spared, given that no metastases were found,” Novosel pointed out.

It is a procedure suitable for patients who are not ideal candidates for classic breast resection due to age and comorbidities or the risk of anesthesia and for tumors up to two centimeters or smaller metastases.

An additional advantage of breast tumor cryoablation is that it is performed on an outpatient basis, it is painless and lasts one hour, after which the patient can go home, the hospital’s director Davor Vagić underscored.