Cryotherapy allows the destruction of unresectable liver malignancies. The abdominal approach is uneasy for recurrent colorectal metastases located in the upper part of the liver and close to the inferior vena cava, the hepatic veins and the diaphragm. A transpleurodiaphragmatic access was employed. From 1999 to 2003, ten patients with recurrent colorectal liver metastases underwent transdiaphragmatic cryotherapy via a right thoracotomy. Median diameter was 30 mm. One to 4 cryoprobes were used, depending on the size and location of the metastasis. There were no operative deaths, and only 3 patients developed minor complications. Computerized tomography examination of the liver performed one week, three months after cryotherapy, assessed treatment completeness in all patients. At 14 months, 9 patients were alive and 6 were disease-free. Two patients had liver recurrences outside the cryolesion. A transthoracic access may represent the safest and easiest surgical approach for liver tumor cryoablation in selected patients with non resectable recurrent metastases of the upper liver.