This article was originally published in St. George Health & Welness Magazine, November/December 2018.
There is a new minimally-invasive procedure for men who have urinary symptoms due to prostate enlargement. This procedure is done in the urologist's office with local anesthesia, and literally takes only a few minutes to complete.
The new treament is called Rezum (pronounced Resume) and it is performed by placing a small endoscope through the urethra into the prostate and injecting small jets of steam through a needle, directly into the enlarged prostate gland. As the steam condenses back into water, it trasfers all of its thermal energy into the hyperplastic prostate, killing up to 40 percent of the obstructing tissue. Subsequently, the involved tissue shrinks and the symptoms can resolve.
Rezum became available in the United States in late 2016 and currently, over 20,000 men have been treated. This therapy is an appealing alternative to surgery or medications, which have been the mainstay of treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), but may be associated with unwanted side effects. Researchers have reported that patients who have been treated with Rezum have had their symptoms marketdly improved, and that this improvement has held up for over two years.
Our practice here in St. George has now treated more than 150 men with Rezum. We have had excellent results with more than 80% of them having relief of their obstructive prostate symptoms since undergoing this minimally invasive treatment.
The current surgery for symptoms of BPH is known as transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP. Millions of men have had this surgery, and it has helped them tremendously, however it has to be done in the hospital under general or spinal anesthesia, and can cause bleeding, pain, and a sexual side effect called retrograde ejaculation (or dry ejaculation).
The Rezum procedure is very simple. We utilize only local anesthesia and an oral pain pill. Bleeding is minimal, and a patient can usually remain on their blood thinning medications and still have this procedure done. Furthermore, Rezum is minimally painful and is not associated with any significant sexual side effects, such as retrograde ejaculation (less than 1%).
One of the major advantages of Rezum is that this procedure can treat the median lobe of the prostate. Other minimally-invasive prostate therapies are not able to do this, and approximately 30 percent of symptomatic men have a significant median lobe that contributes to the obstruction. The median lobe problem is one of the primary reasons that the TURP procedure has not yet been replaced by other minimally-invasive procedures. These other minimally-invasive procedures for the prostate have not been able to effectively treat the median lobe, so, until now, the more aggressive TURP has been needed in these cases.
Thousands of patients have been delighted with the results and the ease of this treatment. This procedure is safe and effective, with only 4% of patients requiring repeat or additional treatment.
This new procedure is available in St. George, Utah. Robert Cope MD and Gregory Taylor MD are the first to offer Rezum in Southern Utah. This procedure costs thousands of dollars less than the hospital TURP and is covered by most insurance. Most men with obstructive prostate symptoms are suitable candidates for this new technology and can expect to see good results with treatment.
For more information, go to www.rezum.com or call 435-688-2104.