Rezum is a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, also known as BPH. This condition is age-related and becoming more common in men between 50 and 60 years of age.
It happens when an enlarged prostate leads presses on the urethra and obstructs urine flow.
BPH can cause issues with the bladder, kidneys and urinary tract. It is not a type of cancer but it’s possible to have cancer and BPH simultaneously, both of which would affect urine flow.
There is a 90% chance of BPH in males over 80 years which means an aging population is going to lead to an uptick in diagnoses.
BPH symptoms include a strong urge to urinate, irregular flow, frequent urination, straining during urination, having to urinate in the middle of the night, and a weak stream.
A family history of BPH can increase the likelihood of developing it.
BPH can be treated with various techniques. Transurethral resection (TURP) and open surgery have been used in recent times.
However these include the risk of side effects such as erectile dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation, urinary incontinence, and bleeding heavy enough for transfusion.
There are also techniques which are less invasive, including enucleation or laser vaporization of the prostate.
Enucleation in particular yields impressive results in the long term.
Despite this, the technique can result in retrograde ejaculation in between 60 and 90% of cases.
Aquablation, or robotic prostate hydroablation, along with steam therapy known as Rezum can treat the condition without ejaculation being compromised. This is very important to a lot of patients.
There two techniques can be combined.
What Exactly is Rezum?
The prostate is walnut-sized and located under the bladder, extending around the urethra, where urine travels out of the body.
The prostate makes semen fluid. Men tend to have two large growth spurts, one during puberty and the other around 25 years of age.
BPH doesn’t usually occur during the first growth spurt.
A growing prostate can press down on the urethra which makes urinating and completely emptying the bladder difficult.
If some urine is left in the bladder and the urethra has narrowed, BPH issues can be the result. This condition is not cancerous or cancer-causing.
Rezum concerns injecting a small amount of water vapor (steam) in the prostate.
This causes tissue necrosis in the overgrown part of the prostate, which is basically the death of cells.
The body eliminates the dead tissue naturally, thereby solving prostrate growth in the patient.
The doctor will insert a small scope into your urethra inside your penis which goes beyond the prostate to the bladder.
The doctor will determine the best location for therapy and insert a tiny tube into the prostate tissue.
Next steam is released for around 9 seconds. The doctor might treat various sites on your prostate depending on its shape and size.
Afterwards, a catheter will be inserted.
Pros of Rezum
Rezum is a minimally invasive technique which only takes about 5 minutes to perform. It avoids thermal and radiation damage.
There is a low incidence of Rezum complications. The patient is typically able to go home the same day of the surgery, although he will have to use a urinary catheter for several days after the procedure, while recovering.
Rezum prevents ejaculation issues in some 97% of cases (unlike other surgical options) since it is not a radical technique.
Rezum is a great alternative to surgery and medications. It is an outpatient treatment which doesn’t call for general anesthesia.
Rezum can preserve sexual and urinary functions and show results in just two weeks. It’s a safe and effective method of resolving BPH symptoms.
Cons of Rezum
Rezum does have limitations. For example, it can only be used in patients with prostrates under 90 to 100 grams.
The best Rezum results are usually from small or medium prostates.
Patients who take anticoagulants must suspend this treatment before being treated with Rezum.
Inflammation can occur which is the reason for the catheter, which results in urine flow being obstructed.
Some patients, although a minority, need retreatment during the 4 years after the initial surgery.
Since it is not an invasive technique, Rezum might have to be repeated if the prostrate grows again.
However, with the right technique, a repeat is unlikely until at least 10 years have passed.
It is more annoying to be on daily medication which often produces side effects however.
Long term results have not been extensively studied since Rezum is a comparatively new type of surgery.
Rezum is unsuitable for large median lobes, large prostates or patients who have urinary retention.
Rezum is a minimally invasive, cutting-edge, conservative option offering both pros and cons, as you can see.
Since men’s prostates grow in size as they get older, this makes the gland more prone to disease such as prostate cancer and BPH.
General health screening is recommended for men from the age of 40 and upwards because prostate cancer is the most common cancer (excluding skin cancer).
Prostate cancer and BPH share some similarities also a PSA blood test and rectal exam can help diagnose which, if either, you have.
Annual screenings are always recommended for both men and women.
What are the Alternatives to Rezum?
Home treatment, such as double-voiding (urinating as much as possible then resting then trying to urinate again) can help with BPH.
Alcohol and caffeine can make the body want to get rid of excess water, resulting in more frequent urination.
Some medications, such as over the counter decongestants and nasal sprays, antihistamines, and allergy medication can make it more difficult to urinate.
You can check with your doctor or pharmacy if any of those are affecting you and if there is an alternative.
If home treatment doesn’t help, you might like to try enlarged prostate medication to reduce your symptoms.
If you stop the medication though, your symptoms will return. Finally there is the option of surgery which will remove some of your prostate.
Not many men have BPH of this magnitude, meaning Rezum could very well be the perfect cure for most incidences of BPH.