"The electricity is so powerful they have to be paralysed while we're doing it or they would just jump off the table."
This was St Vincent's Private Hospital urologist Phillip Stricker, speaking of an emerging treatment for prostate cancer that involves zapping the tumour with more electricity than a bolt of lightning.
Patient Rob Gunn, 65, was unconscious on the operating table, legs aloft, with four needles framing the site of the cancer.
When the doctors switched on the machine, his legs began to jerk.
Over the next 10 minutes, 90 pulses of electricity passed between the needles, exposing each centimetre of tissue to up to 1500 volts. By the end, the lesion had completely disappeared.
"You can't underestimate the potential of this technology," Professor Stricker said.
"It's going to save a lot of people from having unnecessary surgery."