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Rezum Steam Therapy for Enlarged Prostates

What is Rezum steam treatment?
Rezum steam treatment is an innovative approach for men suffering with an enlarged prostate that is causing urinary symptoms. It is set to be made more widely available after being given approval for routine use by the health watchdog, NICE. Professor Hashim Ahmed, Consultant Urological Surgeon at Bupa Cromwell Hospital was one of the first two consultants in the UK to perform the new Rezum treatment, often referred to as Steam Therapy of the prostate. He performs the Rezum procedure routinely at Bupa Cromwell Hospital, Imperial Private Healthcare and in Imperial NHS Trust at Charing Cross Hospital. The initial results have been impressive and in most cases aims to replace the traditional operation, called a transurethral resection of the prostrate (TURP).

What sort of symptoms do men have from an enlarged prostate?
Symptoms of an enlarged prostate or often a ‘tight’ prostate can include poor urine flow, a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder, and needing the toilet more frequently and with more urgency. The condition, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or bladder outlet obstruction, is very common in men over the age of 50, affecting around one in three. Men usually have medication as well as modifying their life-style. In those men where the symptoms continue or get worse or when men don’t want to take medication forever, or when the medication itself causes side-effects, an operation called a TURP is often used to treat BPH. TURP is performed on thousands of men every year. It takes approximately 1-2 hours and requires two to three days in hospital with a catheter. It can cause urine leakage in 1-2% and erectile problems in 5-10% with most men having dry orgasm. Laser TURP helps reduce in patient stay and catheter times as well as recovery and reduced blood loss but the effects on incontinence and erections can be similar.

How does the Rezum steam treatment work?
The new procedure, called Rezum, avoids the need for surgery and reduces the risk of associated complications such as bleeding, incontinence and sexual dysfunction. Small amounts of steam are injected into the prostate which destroys some of the prostate tissue, reducing its size. The procedure takes 10 to 15 minutes under local, sedation or general anaesthetic with patients able to go home the same day. A catheter is needed for about a week in most men due to the swelling that is initially caused by the steam. The dead prostate tissue is absorbed by the body slowly over a number of weeks. 90-95% at 3-4 years after the procedure have a satisfactory outcome. Rezum steam treatment is used in prostates that are 80ml or 80grams in size or less. The risk of incontinence is virtually zero and erectile dysfunction virtually zero in men who have good baseline function. Of those men who are able to ejaculate fluid during intercourse 5% will retain this after Rezum treatment.

Is Professor Ahmed experienced in Rezum steam treatment?
Professor Ahmed was one of two surgeons in the UK to perform this procedure and performed the first Rezum procedure in London two years ago. He was also one of the lead surgeons involved in last year’s study from the UK which confirmed that we were able to achieve similar results to the USA study. So it is great that we can now offer this treatment more widely as a huge group of men could benefit. He now has the largest Rezum practice in London and one of the two highest volume surgeons offering this in the UK.

Why is Rezum steam treatment so ground-breaking?
Men often worry about the side effects of an operation which means they suffer without seeking treatment. While the results of the treatment are not instant, it might take three to eight weeks to see the benefits, the impressive results show that men needing traditional surgery or those who don’t want to take tablets long-term might benefit from Rezum. It is less invasive, carries fewer side effects for our patients, and patients get a quicker recovery meaning they can get on with their life.