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MEDICS in Dorchester are using cutting edge lasers to treat patients with kidney stones. They are firing up the beams in the urology unit at the Dorset County Hospital as it deals with kidney, ureteric and bladder ailments. The holmium laser fragments very tough stones and treats urinary tract problems. Patients previously would have to go to larger hospitals in London or Bristol but most can now be dealt with in Dorchester. Naveed Afzal, who is consultant urological surgeon at the Dorset County Hospital, said: 
“Offering the best level of patient care requires two key ingredients. 
“The very best trained medical staff using the latest proven techniques and equipment. 
“Our urology unit now has the capability to treat a range of different urinary tract issues, offering our patients the latest medical treatment and care.
“The laser is a key part of this and the fact that it’s specifically upgradeable means we’ll maintain this cutting edge ability in the years to come.”
The laser is already used by leading urologists in the United States to treat urinary stone diseases. It has been approved by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence and is being introduced at major hospitals in Europe.
The laser bolster the arsenal of medical equipment in the urology department. Treatments include ultrasonic waves to fragment stones and delicate key-hole surgery for removing problematic build-ups.

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​Consultant surgeon Mr. Naveed Afzal, third from left, with Dorset County Hospital chief executive Jean ’Callaghan, far left, and the template biopsy team at DCH Day Surgery Unit A CUTTING-EDGE new service is set to improve early diagnosis of prostate cancer at Dorset County Hospital Consultant urological surgeon Naveed Afzal has just performed the first prostate template biopsy procedures on three patients at the Dorchester hospital.

It is hoped the service, the first of its kind in the area on offer to male patients with suspected prostate cancer, will result in higher detection rates of the disease. Mr Afzal said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer our patients this new procedure as it saves people the stress and inconvenience of coming in for repeated prostate biopsies and gives them an early diagnosis so they can begin their treatment quickly. “This technique is generally only offered in specialist urological centres so we are delighted to be able to provide this service for our patients here at Dorset County Hospital.

“We have done our first three procedures and everything went very well. “This will be a very valuable service for a select group of patients who have cancer that Standard biopsy procedures remain an accurate way of diagnosing prostate cancer but between 10 and 30 per cent of patients are given a ‘false negative result’, which means the biopsy result is negative although prostate cancer is present.

The new transperineal template biopsy is intended to provide a more accurate way of assessing and mapping the prostate and is important for people who have had repeated negative biopsies but are judge to be at high risk of prostate cancer. The process was first introduced in America and is now being gradually introduces to a number of specialist urological centres in the UK, meaning Dorset County Hospital is very Evaluations have shown it produces a higher cancer detection rate and more accurate The procedure is done under a general anaesthetic and patients can go home the same day.

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