Dr. Ali Tourchi learned how to perform aquablation therapy to treat noncancerous enlarged prostates when he was a urology resident in Arkansas.
Now, Dr. Tourchi is performing the procedure at AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway. He is the only physician in Flagler, Volusia or Lake counties performing the minimally invasive procedure.
Instead of incisions or lasers, the procedure involves a jet of water delivered by a robot to remove tissue at precise locations.
Dr. Tourchi maps out a full view of the prostate using both ultrasound imaging and a camera which is inserted through the urethra.
“We tell our robot where the aquablation zone is based on the ultrasound and direct view of the prostate,” Dr. Tourchi said. “Then we will use high-pressure cold water to cut through the prostate to open up the channel which has been obstructed by a big prostate, which is very common in men over age 50.”
The procedure takes about an hour, with the robotic treatment itself lasting just five minutes. Since October, Dr. Tourchi and his team have performed 11 aquablation treatments. All of them have been successful, he said.
Some of our patients had other types of surgery for their prostate, but it didn't work as they expected and they had this kind of surgery, and they were all impressed by it.”
— DR. ALI TOURCHI
“It usually takes six weeks to see the full effectiveness of it, but many of our patients, even two weeks after, they're impressed by the results,” Dr. Tourchi said. “Some of our patients had other types of surgery for their prostate but it didn't work as they expected, and they had this kind of surgery, and they were all impressed by it.”
With such a detailed view of the prostate, Dr. Tourchi is able to tell the robot exactly how deep and at what angle to direct the water.
“Each patient gets the treatment that is perfect for them,” he said. “Prostate tissue can go to different depths. Based on the findings of the surgeons’ imaging, the robot finds the perfect depths, which doesn't cause any damage to other tissues around the prostate. That's why it causes less chances of erectile dysfunction, less chances of patients having sexual dysfunction, meaning having a difficulty in ejaculation, and less chances of bleeding after the surgery.”
Because of the precision of the treatment, 10 out of 10 men do not leak urine after undergoing the procedure, Dr. Tourchi said.
“The problem with previous procedures was that we were using either heat or electricity, which caused a lot of irritation to the bladder and prostate or a lot of bleeding. Patients needed to stay in the hospital for a long time,” Dr. Tourchi said.
The robot is not mobile, so the procedure is currently only available at AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway in the three-county area. It is also available at AdventHealth Celebration, Winter Garden and Kissimmee, according to an AdventHealth press release.
Dr. Tourchi said a waiting list for the procedure is almost nonexistent.
“If they need the surgery, we will offer it to them right away,” he said. “We are proud to serve the county of Flagler and surrounding counties. And we are blessed to be at AdventHealth Palm Coast Parkway to have this robot available.”