Prostate-related problems can occur with aging. The most common one is a change in urine flow. For men to urinate, urine must pass through the prostate, which is located at the end of the bladder. With aging, the prostate grows in size and the opening it once had to allow urine to pass becomes smaller and smaller, which causes a weak urine stream, urinary urgency, urinary frequency, nighttime urination, urinary retention, and many other problems.
To relieve this problem, the therapy available involves inserting a camera into the urethra to the prostate in order to scrape it and widen the passageway. The procedure is known as transurethral resection of the prostate, TURP, and is a top-notch procedure to fix urinary problems resulting from an enlarged prostate.
Unfortunately, this procedure requires a visit to the hospital, anesthesia, and sometimes an overnight stay. With any procedure, there’s always a risk of side effects and complications.
Over the last two decades, other therapies have been proposed including medications to shrink the prostate or the use of a laser, microwave, radio frequency, and high-intensity ultrasound.
A new technology, known as Rezum, uses water vapor to treat urinary symptoms resulting from an enlarged prostate. This procedure is conducted in a doctor’s office with local anesthesia and still involves inserting a camera, but when the camera reaches the prostate, steam is released.
The steam condenses into water and releases heat energy that damages the cell membrane of the tissue in the area. These cells die and become reabsorbed by the body, which opens up the hole, allowing easier passing of urine.
At first, urinary symptoms may worsen, as the prostate initially swells, but this is combated with the use of a catheter for a short while. Once the swelling goes down, improvements are experienced within two weeks and continue to progress over the course of months as the dead cells become reabsorbed, allowing for a bigger opening.
So far, there have been no reports of complications from this procedure, unlike TURP.
Follow-up on patients has shown that 85 percent of patients after five years are still urinating well with only 15 percent of patients experiencing the return of symptoms.
The procedure is FDA-approved and is often covered by most insurance companies. Therefore, if you’re looking for an alternative to medications and hospital visits, then Rezum may be the best alternative to obtain urinary relief from a swollen prostate.
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