The use of cold in medicine dates back at least to the time of the Edwin Smith Papyrus. However, only in very recent years has the use of ultracold, employed as a surgical tool, advanced from the phase of gadgetry to that of a respected adjunct. This progress is due primarily to the application of advanced technology and engineering design to specific problems in surgery. Currently, cryogenics enjoy clinical acceptance in at least three surgical areas: destruction of dermatologic lesions, ocular surgery (particularly lens extraction), and stereotaxic neurosurgical ablations.
This volume represents a compilation of papers presented before a multidiscipline symposium on cryosurgery in March 1967. A better qualified and more prestigious group of authors could hardly have been assembled. Topics ranged from basic physical principles of cryogenics, through specific unit design, to clinical application and technique. The material is straight-forward and simply presented, so as to be intelligible even