A new method for treating men suffering from an enlarged prostate has been pioneered in the UK, letting patients literally blow off some steam in order to rectify the issue.
Pressure Washing the Prostate
The new procedure, which is known as Rezum, is a development of the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It involves using a small probe, inserted through the urethra of the patient, and using that probe to administer a small blast of steam heated to 103 degrees Celsius to the prostate region.
NICE scientists say that the effects of the procedure will reduce enlarged prostates and destroy excess tissue. This tissue is then naturally reabsorbed into the body harmlessly. The entire procedure, which is done under total anesthesia, is an outpatient procedure — patients can return home the same day.
An Improvement, but Not Perfect
Treating prostatic hyperplasia – or enlarged prostate — can lead to frequent trips to the bathroom and other types of discomfort. These results have been less than ideal in the past. Traditional treatment methods include alpha-blockers or more invasive surgical treatments. Rezum, meanwhile, provides improved relief for those suffering from enlarged prostate.
There are some significant side effects, however. Patients may need to have a urethral catheter or take antibiotics for several days after the procedure. The upshot, though, is that it’s much less likely for men to experience sexual dysfunction after a Rezum treatment. Based on all these factors, NICE has given the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to begin offering Rezum as a treatment for men with enlarged prostate.
It’s unclear whether this new prostate treatment will make it over to the United States any time in the immediate future. Such procedures would first have to go through a significantly rigorous vetting process before it could be considered a valid option by US-based health professionals.