UltraCryo is Ultrasound-guided Cryoanalgesia. The UltraCryo-trained surgeon uses an Ultra-high resolution magnifying Ultrasound to guide the Cryoprobe into place on the various nerve sites. In the hands of an experienced Cryosurgeon, the Ultra-high resolution Ultrasound allows for extremely accurate Cryoprobe placement leading to extremely high success rates after the Cryoanalgesia procedure. For all indications that UltraCryo is used, the success rate is as high as 98% in the hands of the most experienced Cryosurgeons. Of the more than 150 Cryosurgeons in the country, only a very small handful use Ultra-high resolution Ultrasound guidance of the Cryoprobe.
Using UltraCryo allows the Cryosurgeon to actually see the nerve structure as well as the vascular (blood vessel) structures nearby. The Ultrasound is used in Pulsed Doppler mode allowing for visualization of even the smallest vessels. This allows for proper precise positioning of the Cryoprobe on just the nerve trunk. Using UltraCryo allows us to visualize the iceball as it is formed. We can use the Ultrasound's high resolution to measure the size of the iceball. This allows us to accurately predict and control the size of the area of nerve we are performing the prolonged conduction block on. We can also measure the location of the nerve in relation to the nearby vessels and bony structures.
Ultrasound images taken during the UltraCryo procedure can be saved and may be used in the rare event that the procedure needs to be repeated. Those images from the previous procedure allow us to look back at the structures that may have contributed to recurrence of the pain or in rare instances, procedure failure. The use of the UltraCryo allows us to see the involvement of scar tissue and bony prominences in the entrapment of the nerve.