Dr. Dillan Goble, director of the medical research company Gyrus, has developed a minimally invasive solution to treat prostate hypertrophy, a typical old men's disease. Instead of using a scalpel to remove the damaged tissue, the affected gland part is entered into the intense kinetic energy of an ionised plasma corona, where the tissue is instantaneously vaporised to its constituent elements and washed away in the irrigating flow. The system has the great advantage that only a small incision has to be made in the patient's body to insert the electrode and the vacuum cleaning channel. To date, some 200 patients have been treated successfully with the PlasmoKinetic method which guarantees a much faster recovery than conventional surgery.
In 1989 Gyrus, the PlasmaKinetic endosurgical device company was founded to develop radiofrequency energy based systems for advanced minimal access and outpatient surgical procedures. Gyrus' core technology rests in innovative forms of radiofrequency energy manipulation and their application to a range of surgical disciplines. The PlasmaKinetic endosurgical technology operates exclusively in electrically conductive solutions used to distend or irrigate the operative site during minimal access surgery. The system has the ability to adjust, in microseconds, the power delivered to tissue. Recently, the technique has been introduced to treat patients who suffer from the complications of an enlarged prostate gland.
In Europe, one out of three or four men aged above fifty deals with prostate hypertrophy. The gland pinches off the ureter which causes a frequent but false urge to visit the lavatory. Each year, about half a million patients need surgery to remove a part of the gland. For one out of five patients, prostate hypertrophy leads to cancer. Surgical intervention is very expensive, ranging from 15.000 to 35.000 euro, including pre- and post-operative treatment. As an alternative, the PlasmaKinetic technology offers both surgeons and their patients considerable benefits. Blood vessels are sealed immediately which prevents the patient from internal bleeding during the removal procedure of the affected gland part.
There are three ways of applying PlasmaKinetic technology. In the first mode, the ionised plasma corona is generated over the active zone of the electrode, appearing as an orange glow. As a result, the affected tissue is rapidly being vaporised and washed away. The low thermal mass of the plasma prevents collateral tissue damage adjacent to the application site, allowing a precisely targeted effect. In the second mode, the electrodes produce fast, predictable and controlled elevations in tissue temperature in order to modify soft tissue structures or seal blood vessels. A blend mode alternates the output between these two tissue effects as to ensure haemostatic removal of highly vascular tissue.
The minimally invasive PlasmaKinetic technique not only is suited for cases of prostate hypertrophy but also for sports injuries to joints. Indeed, twisted cartilage can be vaporised in the same way as prostate gland tissue by more intensively activating the ionised plasma. Hysterectomy is another example. The removal of a woman's uterus is a very serious intervention, physically as well as emotionally. Here, the PlasmaKinetic solution can bring much relief to the patient. A very promising application consists in the reconstruction of connective tissue that tends to lose much of its elasticity at a more advanced age and thus can be the cause of many fractures or other injuries for elderly patients. PlasmaKinetics may even pay large services in ear, nose, and throat diseases as well as to cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal surgery.