A Revolutionary New Water Vapour Therapy for Catheter-Dependent Men

A new study published by Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases shows that Rezūm Water Vapour Therapy can be an effective and safe treatment of catheter-dependent patients with complete urinary retention caused by Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

What is Urinary Retention?

Urinary retention is the inability to fully empty the bladder. Most men with an enlarged prostate do not develop serious complications. However, in some cases, BPH can cause acute urinary retention (AUR), which is the inability to voluntarily pass urine. This happens when the prostate is large enough to “block” the urethra, making it impossible for the patient to urinate, even with a full bladder. Acute urinary retention is one of the most consequential, uncomfortable and life-threatening complications related to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Immediate treatment is the insertion of a catheter to drain the urine out of the bladder. In some cases, patients with a large enough prostate obstructing the urethra, can become dependent on the use of a catheter.

Catheter-dependent patients need effective treatments to improve bladder function and quality of life. Moreover, staying clear of long-term use of catheters will also avoid other forms of complications.

Surgical Therapy for Severe BPH Cases

Due to the highly invasive nature of an Open Prostatectomy (surgical removal of a part or totality of the prostate gland), the most common form of surgical therapy for patients with severe BPH symptoms is TURP. A transurethral resection of the prostate does not require an incision, the ablation of the excess tissue of the prostate gland being conducted through the urethra with a resectoscope. However, a TURP does require general or spinal anesthesia.

Although TURP is considered to be a highly effective treatment to relieve BPH symptoms and free patients from long-term catheter use, its success rate appears to be significantly affected by age. 

Frail or older patients, often presenting several other medical conditions, are at higher risk for complications caused by the surgical procedures involving TURP or an Open Prostatectomy, including anesthesia risk, UTI with septicemia (blood poisoning), surgical bleeding or urethral stricture. Such patients therefore require the need for effective minimally invasive treatment.

An Alternative Treatment to Catheter-Dependent Urinary Retention

The study published by Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases, reports that patients unsuitable for more traditional surgical therapies, can achieve successful cessation of catheter dependency with the new Rezūm™ water vapour therapy. 

Water vapor thermal therapy uses controlled doses of hot steam to directly ablate and reduce portions of the swollen prostate that are causing obstruction of the urethra. This minimally invasive surgical treatment has repeatedly been proved to be an effective and safe treatment of clinically significant BPH.  

In the conducted study of 38 catheter-dependent men with complete urinary retention who received Rezūm™ water vapour treatment, 70.3% were able to voluntarily pass urine 4 to 65 days after the procedure, and of these, 69% discontinued BPH medications post-treatment. 

In conclusion, the study shows that Rezūm™ may restore bladder function for most catheter-dependent patients suffering from obstructive BPH.   

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