Did you know that as men age, they have a high chance of developing an enlarged prostate? Doctors often refer to this as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. In fact, 50% of men by age 60 and 90% of men by age 85 experience this common condition.1
But what causes the prostate to grow and how does it affect men? Researchers aren’t completely sure what causes BPH and associated lower urinary tract symptoms and why some develop BPH and others don’t. But for most, an enlarged prostate or BPH is considered a natural result of getting older. Beyond age, other risk factors for lower urinary tract symptoms can include family history of prostatectomy at an early age, obesity, or diabetes and heart diseases that may cause increased urinary frequency.1
An enlarged prostate may cause the gland to squeeze the urethra and block the flow of urine, which can affect your life in many ways. It results in frustrating symptoms, such as waking up at all hours of the night to urinate. It can cause a weak stream or an urgent need to go, among other things.1 The symptoms can often leave people feeling embarrassed and discouraged.
Case in point: Dr. Parminder Sethi, a doctor with a busy practice in California. Dr. Sethi specializes in helping people with their urology problems and is passionate about his work. While he regularly helps patients with enlarged prostates find relief from their symptoms, a few years ago he started experiencing the symptoms himself. He would often wake up at night to use the restroom. He would visit the restroom more frequently during the day. And he would take longer each time he went. Slowly, over time, his symptoms got worse and they started affecting his life. His wife would often complain that he spent too much time in the restroom at the movies and would disturb those around him.
Dr. Sethi decided to do something about his problem. There are several ways to treat BPH and men should consider all options in consultation with their doctors. Treatments include waiting to see if symptoms get worse and making lifestyle changes. You can also try medications or in-office therapies, such as Rezūm™ Water Vapor Therapy or more invasive procedures such as surgery. Lifestyle changes and medication are usually the first treatment offered to people with BPH followed by minimally invasive therapies and surgery.1
Dr. Sethi decided to start taking medications for his BPH. But he quickly became unhappy. He knew that the medications were only treating the symptoms and not the actual problem. Also, he started experiencing side effects from the medications, such as nasal stuffiness, dizziness, chest congestion, trouble standing up quickly, and blood pressure issues. These side effects prevented him from fully living his life.
Then he started making tradeoffs in his life. He found himself making tough choices between taking the medicine and dealing with the side effects or dealing with the symptoms of his enlarged prostate and avoiding the medication side effects. The medications helped his BPH symptoms, but the side effects were a constant problem.
Finally, Dr. Sethi decided to try Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy, a trusted and in-office, minimally invasive procedure. The therapy takes place in a doctor’s office and uses water vapor to reduce the size of the prostate, with limited side effects. Rezūm Therapy provides lasting symptom relief from BPH without invasive surgery, permanent implants or the potential side effects of prescription drugs. Dr. Sethi also knew that Rezūm Therapy helps preserve sexual function. Most men return to regular activities within a few days following the procedure.2
Dr. Sethi had been treating his own patients with Rezūm Therapy for a few years. He saw how happy they were with the results. In fact, some of his patients told him that they felt like teenagers again. They said they wished they had known about this therapy earlier.
Dr. Sethi clearly remembers the Friday he had his procedure. He finished work by 3 p.m., received the procedure from one of the other doctors in his office and was on his way home by 5 p.m. He was able to drive himself home after the procedure and didn’t require any extra care or attention besides the standard catheter that most patients have for a few days following the procedure due to continued or worsening symptoms as the body begins to heal. He then rested at home over the weekend. He had slight discomfort but manageable pain over the weekend. He was back to the office on Monday morning, ready to see his patients again. Typically, patients begin to feel symptom relief two weeks following the procedure and experience the full benefit of Rezūm Therapy at three months. Patient responses can and do vary. Painful or frequent urination, blood in the urine or semen, and inability to urinate or completely empty the bladder are common side effects of the Rezūm procedure.
Dr. Sethi says, “I tell my patients that this advice is not only coming from a doctor but from a fellow patient. Rezūm Therapy is a good option for patients looking for a minimally invasive procedure to treat BPH. There’s minimal discomfort and side effects. My patients often will say, ‘If it’s good enough for you, doc, it’s good enough for me.’”
Dr. Sethi could not be happier after having Rezūm Therapy himself. He no longer needs to take any medications for his BPH. He’s gone back to doing his favorite activities – hiking, golfing, visiting wineries in Napa Valley, walking his dog and enjoying time with his family and friends. “Now, I can watch a full movie without getting up to go to the restroom – not even once!” says Sethi.
Rezūm Therapy has been studied in clinical trials. Study results show that Rezūm Therapy relieved BPH symptoms for most patients and improved their general quality of life.2 In fact, one study showed that 97% of patients treated with Rezūm would recommend the therapy to a friend.3 A clinical study showed that at five years after the procedure, only 4.4% of patients needed surgical retreatment and 11.1% began taking medication, making Rezūm a reliable minimally invasive treatment option for those suffering with BPH.4
You can learn more about BPH and Rezūm Therapy, including important safety information, by visiting Rezum.com. Everybody should talk with their doctor before moving forward with any treatment option.
1. Barry M, Roehrborn C. Management of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Ann Rev Med. 1997 Feb;48:177-89.
2. McVary KT, Rogers T, Roehrborn CG. Rezūm water vapor thermal therapy for lower urinary tract symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia: 4-year results from randomized controlled study. Urology. 2019 Apr;126:171-9.
3. Mooney R, Goldberg K, Wong D, et al. Convective radio frequency thermal therapy for treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia: Single office experience with 255 patients over 4 years. Urol Pract. 2020 Jan;7(1):28-33.
4. McVary KT, Roehrborn C. Five year results of the prospective, randomized controlled trial of water vapor thermal therapy for treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Late-Breaking Abstract. J Urol. 2020 Apr;203(4):e1021.
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Content on this article is for Informational Purposes only and does not constitute medical advice and should not be used for medical diagnoses. Boston Scientific strongly recommends that you consult with your physician on all matters pertaining to your health or to address any clinical/medical questions.
Parminder Sethi, MD, is a Boston Scientific consultant and was compensated for his contribution to this article.
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