is used in cryotherapy for the treatment of prostate
cancer. The Joule-Thomson effect is a physical process
where gas decreases in temperature when allowed to expand.
Argon gas is circulated through the cryoprobes, which
are planted into the prostate gland. Circulating these
gases according to the Joule-Thomson effect allows the
argon gas in the needles to grow ice balls on the prostate
gland. The cryoablation process freezes the organ and
the tumor. Cryotherapy has become one of the newest
prostate cancer treatments because of its ability to
destroy prostate cancer that has developed radioresistance.
Older cryotherapy techniques for prostate cancer used
liquid nitrogen, argon gas for cooling, and helium gas
for thawing that allowed the surgeon to perform a more
precise cryotherapy procedure.