THIS special delivery looks relatively simple and compact. Ballarat Health Services head of urology Lachlan Dodds said the impact this machine will make will, quite simply, be massive.
Worth $180,000, or the same as a luxury vehicle, the transperineal grid prostate biopsy system is the first of its generation in Victoria and only one in an Australian public hospital.
The bottom line is that this machine will not inflict post-biopsy pain or infection risk for most patients.
“The thing prostate cancer survivors remember most from their experience is their biopsy – ask any survivor in this room,” Dr Dodds said at the public unveiling of the machine on Friday. “There is virtually no pain and virtually no risk of infection that is traditionally a problem with traditional biopsy machines.”
Dr Dodds said a prostate biopsy deterred a lot of men from returning for further treatment. he said the risk of infection, via traditional methods, was increasingly exacerbated by superbugs that resisted antibiotics, making more men horrendously sick. This could all now be avoided.
Dr Dodds performed the first prostate biopsy with the machine for BHS on Tuesday. He said it was easier to use than most past technology and sported far clearer, accurate imaging – and it could adapt for use on other treatment processes.
The Male Bag Foundation, known for promoting men’s health via road trips on old postman motorbikes, donated $60,000 for the machine in partnership with Wendouree Rotary Club.
AFL legend and prostate cancer survivor David Parkin endured great pain from his biopsy in 2009. Mr Parkin, a Male Bag ambassador and guest speaker at the machine’s launch, hoped the new machine would help public patients from across western Victoria avoid a similar experience.
Mr Parkin has been part of Male Bag’s road convoys across rural and regional Australia. The foundation became involved with BHS via Mr Parkin’s long-time friend and Ballarat businessman Peter Stevens. Male Bag chairman Robert Glover, a former Ballarat-based councillor, said it was exciting to have played a part in bring such an important machine to the community.
“We’re not medical people by any means...if this piece of equipment can bring some comfort to men and the energy to keep going, that’s a good thing,” Mr Glover said.