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Liquid nitrogen

Definition

Liquid nitrogen is a chemical that is super cold, about -328°F (-200°C).

Liquid nitrogen will instantly freeze anything it touches. It is used to kill cells that make up diseased or cancerous tissue. Tissue that has been frozen dries out and falls off.

References

Habif TP. Dermatologic surgical procedures. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2009:chap 27.

Review Date: 
11/2/2014
Reviewed By: 
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.