Background: Cryosurgery is the destruction of undesired tissues by freezing, as in prostate cryosurgery, for example. Minimally invasive cryosurgery is currently performed by means of an array of cryoprobes, each in the shape of a long hypodermic needle. The optimal arrangement of the cryoprobes, which is known to have a dramatic effect on the quality of the cryoprocedure, remains an art held by the cryosurgeon, based on the cryosurgeon’s experience and “rules of thumb.” An automated computerized technique for cryosurgery planning is the subject matter of the current paper, in an effort to improve the quality of cryosurgery. Method of Approach: A two-phase optimization method is proposed for this purpose, based on two previous and independent developments by this research team. Phase I is based on a bubble-packing method, previously used as an efficient method for finite element meshing. Phase II is based on a force-field analogy method, which has proven to be robust at the expense of a typically long runtime. Results: As a proof-of-concept, results are demonstrated on a two-dimensional case of a prostate cross section. The major contribution of this study is to affirm that in many instances cryosurgery planning can be performed without extremely expensive simulations of bioheat transfer, achieved in Phase I. Conclusions: This new method of planning has proven to reduce planning runtime from hours to minutes, making automated planning practical in a clinical time frame.

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