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Water Jets help create a medical world record

Of all the many uses for water jet cutting, few have the ability to be as truly revolutionary as its use in the medical profession.

It is remarkable to think that a technology that is fundamentally centred around the cutting of parts for the industry can also help to save lives and improve levels of health.

And so there must be joy in the news that the wonderful Guy’s Hospital used technology that utilises a water jet to set a world record for the number of treatments of a prostate condition in a day.

Within a day, they treated 10 men with enlarged, but non-cancerous prostates – this more than have been treated in a similar time frame anywhere in the world. 10 people will now have a much better quality of life, for instance, discomfort reduced and issues such as bladder irritation and urinary problems reduced or removed entirely.

Guy’s became the first NHS centre in London to offer this pioneering treatment – named Aquablation therapy it is an incision-less procedure that uses an image-guided robotic arm. The arm holds a water jet and it is this water jet that does the surgery – precisely removing the excess prostate tissue.

As this is an extremely delicate procedure and one where precision is essential, it is still not a surgery that can be done quickly. However, water jets make it much quicker – and 10 a day is a huge increase on previous levels.

The previous breakthrough was to use lasers, but this can take up to three hours per patient – and with turnaround time also factored in, any surgery would be doing well to treat three people per day. Just as importantly, the new Aquablation treatment also improves the preservation of sexual function and urinary continence when compared to laser and other treatments.

In short, the water jet treats more people and also does so in a way that is better for their health and well-being.

‘Improved quality of life’

Southwark News reports the case of one patient, stating:

Retired dentist John Wade, 69, was one of the first Aquablation patients at Guy’s Hospital, following previous prostate surgery which didn’t fully resolve his issue.

John, from Norwich in Norfolk, said: “My surgeon was wonderful. He explained over the phone about Aquablation and said he could get me on the list.

“I turned up on the Sunday, had the treatment and stayed in hospital for 24 hours before I was discharged. My recovery has been good and my quality of life has improved.

“This procedure was so much ‘kinder’ to me physically than the one I had had previously. This is medicine moving forwards – it was first class.”

As for Guy’s – they report that they can also train surgeons in this process more quickly than other methods. The benefits, therefore, seem huge.

Interestingly, they also say that similar techniques could be used for a whole range of treatments.

Water jets might just become of huge use to the NHS and healthcare providers around the world, perhaps helping to cut through the huge waiting lists seen for so many important procedures.

At TMC Waterjet, as leading UK experts in water jet cutting, this again brings home pride at being involved in an industry that is making genuine improvements across a whole range of industries.


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