Rezūm Therapy for BPH

July 14, 2021

What is Resūm Therapy?

Rezūm Therapy is a safe and effective first-of-its-kind minimally invasive treatment to treat BPH — an enlarged prostate. It has been shown to relieve symptoms by reducing excess prostate tissue, which is the cause of BPH, with the use of water vapor therapy.

Prior to Rezūm, options for treating BPH were medications or surgery.  However, for men who choose not to utilize those methods, Rezūm offers an alternative.

The Rezūm System is included in The American Urological Association’s BPH treatment guidelines. In early 2019, a four-year study determined patients who had undergone Rezūm therapy continued to experience significant and sustained improvement in symptoms of BPH and in quality of life over the period of the study.

Understanding Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) — an enlargement of the prostate — is a common condition as men get older. It is caused when the cells of the prostate gland begin to multiply, causing the prostate gland to swell. This swelling compresses the urethra and thus limits the urine flow.

BPH does not increase cancer risk, nor is it the same as prostate cancer. However, its symptoms can be bothersome and impact quality of life for many men.

Typical BPH symptoms include:

  • A weak or interrupted urinary stream
  • Sudden urgency to urinate
  • Frequent urination, especially at night
  • Trouble starting the flow of urine
  • Inability to completely empty the bladder
  • Leaking or dribbling after urination

Common BPH treatment methods include prostate medications—such as medications to relax the muscles around the bladder and in the urethra; medication that impacts testosterone in order to reduce the prostate’s size; and several non-invasive therapies as well as minimally invasive therapies (such as Rezūm).

Surgical options include transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) in order to ease the flow of urine, Greenlight laser photovaporization of the prostate, and rarely, suprapubic prostatectomy.

Those with minimal symptoms may desire to choose active surveillance, in which BPH symptoms are monitored in regular appointments with a urologist for evaluation and/or the need for intervention.

About the Rezūm Procedure

Rezūm Therapy works by using water vapor to kill prostate adenoma cells which cause the obstruction. With the extra prostate tissue removed, the urethra opens, alleviating the BPH symptoms. The body absorbs the treated tissue through the natural healing process, thus shrinking the prostate.

This one-time therapy is completed in a single session. While the entire appointment may take about two hours, the actual procedure takes only minutes. Thus far, Rezūm has been shown to have good outcomes for efficacy, safety and durability, with a potential for this outpatient-based treatment preserving sexual function.

What to Expect and Side Effects of Rezūm

Following the procedure, your doctor prescribes pain medication for your recovery. Most patients return to regular activities within a few days following treatment. The main precaution following the procedure is limiting strenuous activity until the catheter is removed.

In a majority of cases, individuals are able to fully recover from the procedure within a few days to a week. Improvement in BPH symptoms is often noted within a few weeks, and after three months, most individuals feel a complete relief from symptoms.

Rezūm has fewer side effects compared to surgical therapies. Potential side effects are similar to symptoms of BPH, such as frequent or painful urination, inability to urinate or to completely empty the bladder, and blood in the urine. However, most potential side effects are usually mild to moderate and typically resolve within several weeks following Rezūm. Your urologist will give instructions on how to prevent or manage any symptoms. If symptoms recur in the future, the treatment can be repeated.

Rezūm vs. UroLift and Prostate Medication

UroLift is a permanent implant and thus meant to be a permanent treatment. The implant device compresses the enlarged prostate tissue and holds it out of the way of the obstructed urethra, thereby opening the urethra. Like Rezūm, it has been shown to reduce symptoms and also to preserve sexual function.

A 2019 survey found that about half the men took medication to treat symptoms for their enlarged prostate; however, some were unhappy with the results. The survey also showed that while 50 percent of the respondents were aware of the availability of medications for their BPH, only six percent knew of minimally invasive procedures, such as UroLift and Rezūm.

The choice of UroLift or Rezūm, as well as other options for treating BPH, is based on individual cases and can be determined together with your urologist.

At NJU, We Can Help

There can be pros and cons of Rezūm Therapy. The decision to treat BPH with Rezūm may be right for some, but there are multiple options for BPH treatment. Your urologist can help to develop the best treatment plan for you. Contact NJU to set up an appointment to help get BPH under control.

Written by Dr. Andrew Siegel

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