Have you noticed that treatment options for enlarged prostate are increasing?
One of the latest is called Rezum treatment (pronounced ree-zoom). This is a type of radiofrequency treatment that is used to treat the prostate tissue that is enlarged. It’s been approved by the US FDA since 2015.
What’s pretty amazing about the Rezum therapy is that it is a simple outpatient therapy that can be done in the office. No general anesthesia is needed. No medications with unpleasant side effects are needed. It’s considered a minimally invasive procedure.
What Exactly Occurs With The Rezum Treatment?
Here’s how it works:
- Oral pain medications are given one hour before the procedure. Light sedation may be offered instead.
- A probe is entered into the urethra to the level of the prostate.
- A few drops of water are added to a handheld device used specifically for this treatment purpose.
- Radiofrequency energy activates the water, which stores the energy.
- The water is heated up to become steam.
- The steamy water vapor is injected into the prostate tissue, especially in the area where the flow of urine has been blocked.
- The vapor changes its form back to liquid water. During this time the energy passes into the cell membrane.
- Six mild warming sensations are felt and the procedure is over in about 10 minutes.
- Cells that received the energy die.
- A catheter is inserted and will stay in for only a few days. (This depends on the discretion of the doctor.)
- The body then absorbs the dead cells, detoxifying the area.
- The enlarged prostate shrinks in time (29% in six months).
What Happens to the Symptoms of BPH?
You’re probably wondering, “Well, what about the symptoms? Do they improve or not?”
The answer is yes, they do. In fact, in most men there’s a noticeable improvement within two weeks. Patients report that they won’t get up during the night as much within a very few weeks. Getting up during the night is disruptive for your sleep. And without a good night of sleep, you age faster than ever.
Patients report they’re a lot more happier because the nagging urinary tract symptoms are gone. Full effects are seen within 4-6 weeks.
Your next question may be, “What about urination and sexual intercourse?” Are these disrupted in any way, shape or form?
The answer is no, they remain intact.
Side Effects of the Procedure
There are a few side effects of the procedure:
- blood in the urine
- sperm in the urine
- pain or discomfort
- increased desire to urinate
These side effects resolve shortly after the procedure.
Your doctor may tell you to continue taking the remainder of your Flomax medication after the procedure, but this depends on your doctor’s recommendation.
Rezum was created because doctors weren’t happy about the other techniques that are available for treatment of prostate enlargement.
Notice in the chart below some of the reasons why they weren’t satisfied with the gold standard of these methods and medications for treatment:
What Do the Studies Say About Rezum?
A UK study published in 2018 reported on a 5-year follow-up of the results of Rezum treatments showed an improvement of symptoms on the international scale (called the IPSS) from 19.4 to 8.6. This is pretty significant!
Retreatment rates were between 3 and 5% but no cases of ejaculatory dysfunction were caused by the method. In fact, the scientists reported that the ejaculatory bother score improved by 31% compared with baseline.
Twenty-seven percent of the patients studied achieved clinically relevant differences in erectile dysfunction in one year.
However, Rezum treatment won’t sample the tissue of the prostate for prostate cancer. The TURP method, on the other hand, finds anywhere from 4.1 to 16.7% of the cases. Thus, Rezum is not particularly suitable for those men who have urinary retention or have large prostate volumes.
How To Find a Doctor That Does Rezum Treatment
Since not all patients are chosen for the procedure, it’s best to simply check with a qualified health practitioner that can discuss the Rezum treatment with you. Use the link below to find a doctor that is trained fully in the procedure:
Wishing you good health,
Dr. Donna Schwontkowski received a Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine (D.C.), from the National College of Chiropractic, Lombard, IL, in Dec. 1990.
In addition to running a medical practice, Dr Donna has had a long and distinguished career as a medical teacher, both running courses at various universities and also as a published author of several books and as a television presenter on health issues.
About Dr. Donna Schwontkowski
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