As men age, one of the urological conditions they frequently experience is an enlarged prostate gland. This issue, also known as Rezum is an extremely effective therapy or BPH, that typically affects men over 40. As the prostate — which is just below the bladder — swells, it can cause associated issues in the urinary tract, like frequent urination and nighttime urination (nocturia), incontinence, dribbling after urination, difficulty urinating, painful urination, or blood in the urine.
What Is Rezum?
Rezum Water Vapor Therapy provides an alternative to traditional surgery for an enlarged prostate. It is recommended for men with bothersome urinary issues, including a prostate volume that falls within a treatable range and in a treatable area.
This procedure, which is conducted in our office, takes less than ten minutes per treatment. It targets any of the enlarged prostate tissue surrounding the urethra, with the goal of treating the tissue to shrink the prostate over time.
During Rezum, sterile water vapor, or steam, is inserted into the obstructing prostate tissue. Radiofrequency energy from this steam is released into the tissue. That energy then travels to the cell membranes, eradicating those problematic cells. The body’s natural healing mechanisms kick in to absorb the tissue that has been treated. The area around the urethra can then open and the flow of urine can resume as normal.
What Should I Expect During the Rezum Procedure?
The procedure will be performed in the office and a general sedative may be used and given intravenously. Patients first empty the bladder (with additional catheter draining if needed) and then the prostate is numbed. We insert the Rezum device into the urethra and perform the vapor injection. Depending on the size of the enlarged prostate, patients may need two to seven treatments within this single visit.
If you are receiving Rezum, we have a few guidelines. The day before, we recommend drinking plenty of fluids, eating a light meal, and refraining from physical activity. You should refrain from food or drink for four hours prior to the procedure.
You will also need someone to accompany you to the visit, as we do not allow patients who receive Rezum to drive home on their own after being sedated.
Rezum is frequently covered by insurance and is typically covered under Medicare. Once we discuss this treatment option with you at your initial office visit, we can verify whether or not your insurance will cover the cost of the Rezum therapy.
What Is the Recovery Time?
While Rezum is not surgery, it does require some downtime after the procedure, primarily because you will have a catheter inserted for the next few days. Most men can return to normal activity within a few days. You may be prescribed medication if needed.
Rezum will not interfere with your ability to get an erection, but we do recommend against intercourse for the first few days following the procedure. If you have any issues with erectile dysfunction following your procedure, please let us know so we can treat the issue.
It is important to note that because Rezum destroys cells with the ultimate outcome of healing the enlarged prostate, symptoms can worsen slightly over the couple of weeks following the procedure. You may notice additional difficulty or frequency in urination. This is not a cause for alarm; in fact, it means the body is healing. The inflammation will subside and within several weeks — between two and eight — your urinary tract should be functioning normally and your symptoms should be gone.
How Successful is Rezum and What Are the Risks?
Rezum is an extremely effective therapy with effects that last up to five years from the time of treatment. Fewer than 5% of patients need to be treated within that time.
Unlike surgeries to treat BPH, Rezum has shown very few side effects in small numbers of patients who undergo the procedure. These rare side effects may include the following:
- Painful urination
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty urinating or completely emptying the bladder
- Blood in urine or semen
Rezum has not been shown to cause erectile dysfunction, but these issues may naturally occur in men who have received Rezum simply because they are within an age range that is more frequently diagnosed with ED. This is not related to the Rezum therapy itself.
Rezum is a cutting edge alternative to surgery, which is more invasive and can be more costly. If you are suffering the effects of an enlarged prostate or have been diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, make an appointment with us today so we can discuss your options, including Rezum Water Vapor Therapy.