Rare form of treatment arrives at Sydney private hospital

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A rare type of treatment aimed at removing tumours from hard to reach areas of the body has been introduced at Prince of Wales Private Hospital in Sydney.

Surgeons at the Healthscope hospital are using a device called a NanoKnife to treat patients with inoperable or difficult-to-reach tumours.

The device transmits electrical pulses to puncture holes in the tumour. The process, which is known as irreversible electroporation, causes the cancer cells to become unbalanced and ultimately causes them to die.

Dr Koroush Haghighi, a surgeon at Prince of Wales Private Hospital, said the treatment does not affect nearby nerves and blood vessels.

“The benefit of this technology is that we are now able to offer a viable treatment option to patients who are deemed unsuitable for conventional treatments or have limited treatment options,” Dr Haghighi said.

The NanoKnife technology has been available since 2009, but has only been used in 100 hospitals around the world.

It is commonly used on patients with soft tissue tumours in their kidneys, liver, prostate and pancreas.

The technology is popular with patients because it leads to shorter hospital stays and quicker post-operative recovery times.

Hospital General Manager Di Jones said it also causes fewer side effects compared to aggressive surgeries and the procedure can be repeated if new tumours develop.

“We are continuously striving to provide quicker and more effective surgical options for our patients, especially those with a faster recovery time,” Ms Jones said.

“The cutting edge technology of the NanoKnife is our latest option.”

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