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Fda Panel Backs Device That Microwaves Prostates

A device that literally microwaves enlarged prostates may relieve symptoms better than drugs and clearly is safer than surgery for the condition that hits millions of aging men, government scientists said Friday.

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee unanimously recommended the agency approve the Prostatron, a machine that kills excess prostate tissue by sending microwaves into the gland to heat it.

The device could become the first alternative to drugs or surgery for the millions of American men who suffer enlarged prostates. The FDA is not bound by advisory panel decisions but usually follows them.

“This has a lot of promise,” said Dr. Joseph Oesterling of the University of Michigan, who reviewed the device and presented the case for French manufacturer EDAP International. “And it’s quick. You could have men get off work, have this done and go home and watch the … evening news.”

The prostate is a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra, which carries urine to the penis.

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