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Plasma Button: March 22, 2012

Burnard Crawford hadn’t the first inkling that his prostate was growing out of control, until he experienced a medical emergency.

“I had to go to the emergency room because my prostate had swollen to the point where it blocked off my bladder completely,”

Sometimes the prostate becomes so enlarged the body can’t release urine. In those cases, patients, including Burnard, are forced to use a catheter to drain their bladder.

Burnard spent four days in the hospital and was tied to the catheter for more than two months. When medication to shrink his prostate didn’t work, his urologist offered something new.

“When Dr. Daller presented this procedure to me obviously I was asking questions ‘how do you do it, what is it going to involve’ and he says it’s simple it’s a laser treatment you wont feel a thing.”

So he chose to go with the cutting edge technique, one that didn’t require any cutting. It’s called plasma vaporization and uses a tool called the plasma button.

“With the plasma button this is essentially virtually a bloodless procedure,” says Dr. Meir Daller, a urologist on the medical staff of Lee Memorial Health System.

Traditional surgery opens the prostate and removes excess tissue. It also requires hospitalization.

“In this new procedure, you’re using a special gas that essentially vaporizes the insides of the prostate and the end result is the same. The advantage is the faster surgery and the fact that it’s bloodless,” says Dr. Daller.

Done at Lee Memorial Health System’s Outpatient Surgery Center, Burnard was home recovering the same morning.

“I never had any pain. He warned me I might have some bleeding from the surgery healing process - that never happened either. So it was like night and day.”

And his growing problem is no longer a going problem.