PlasmaButton therapy offers less invasive treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia

December 02, 2010

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass., (December 2, 2010) -- Olympus, a precision technology leader in designing and delivering innovative solutions in Medical and Surgical Products among other core businesses, announced today that its revolutionary PlasmaButton™ vaporization technology can now be used with the Gyrus ACMI SuperPulse® Generator platform. Together, the PlasmaButton electrode and SuperPulse Generator provide physicians and patients with a new, virtually bloodless treatment option for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate.

About one third of men over the age of 50 and half of those over 70 suffer from the effects of BPH, which include a weak urinary stream, dribbling after urination, and frequent urination. If left untreated, BPH can impact quality of life and cause complications such as severe urinary tract infections, urinary retention or even renal failure.

"The benefits of the Olympus PlasmaButton Vaporization procedure are that it allows excellent tissue ablation, excellent visualization, minimal patient morbidity and is easily learned," said Dr. Michael P. O'Leary, Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School and Senior Urologic Surgeon for Brigham and Women's Hospital.

In contrast to conventional transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), where prostate tissue is removed using cutting loops or lasers, the PlasmaButton technology gently vaporizes the tissue with a small button-shaped device. Olympus was the first company to introduce a bipolar vaporization button for the treatment of BPH in 2008.

Clinical data on the effectiveness of the Plasma Vaporization therapy was released at the 2010 World Congress of Endourology conference (WCE) in Chicago and results were published in the BJU International journal. The prospective, randomized study showed that patients who had the Plasma Vaporization Therapy experienced improvements in the variables measured as well as minimal post-operative discomfort when compared with patients who had the traditional monopolar TURP procedure.1 In particular, catheterization time, operative duration and hospital stay were all shorter for patients who elected the PlasmaButton Vaporization technology.1 Additionally, blood loss and operative complications were also less than traditional monopolar TURP.1
About PlasmaButton Vaporization

PlasmaButton™ Vaporization allows for virtually bloodless tissue ablation for patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or enlarged prostate. In contrast to other standard energy treatments that operate with high temperature, PlasmaButton Vaporization uses low temperature plasma energy to safely remove enlarged prostate tissue while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissue.

During the procedure, the surgeon uses a unique hovering technique so there is little direct contact between the PlasmaButton electrode and tissue. The advanced PlasmaButton technology not only vaporizes the enlarged tissue, but also coagulates the remaining healthy tissue, leaving behind a smooth surface.

Side effects following bipolar Transurethral Vaporization of the Prostate (TUVP) or Plasma Vaporization Therapy can vary by individual and include temporary cramping, frequent and urgent need to urinate, burning sensation and blood in urine. The PlasmaButton electrode is not intended for use in treating prostate cancer.

About Olympus Medical Systems

Olympus develops solutions for healthcare professionals that help improve outcomes and enhance quality of life for their patients. By enabling less invasive procedures, innovative diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy and early stage lung cancer evaluation and treatments, Olympus is transforming the future of healthcare.

For more information about Olympus America, visit

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