Benign prostate enlargement or BPE not only causes irritation, but also affects normal daily routine. If the symptoms are severe, surgery may be necessary. This option maybe worrisome to affected men, but with current advancement in medical technology, BPE can be treated with water vapor therapy and surgery is not required to put turn that frown upside down to affected patients.
Benign Prostate Enlargement
Benign prostate enlargement is commonly found in more that 50% of the male population over the age of 60 years old and 80% of men over the age of 70 years old. Most patients visit their physician because they have trouble urinating, frequent urination especially at night, incomplete bladder excretion, and sometimes urinary incontinence. These can become obstacles in normal daily routine, even though the symptoms and severity may differ from one patient to another.
Water Vapor Therapy for BPE
The preferred treatment method of BPE is either medication or surgery. However, current medical advancement changes the landscape since some patients may be reluctant to get surgery due to potential side effects. An alternative water vapor therapy, which is a new technology that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States since 2015 as well as the Thai FDA.
For treatment, the doctor will insert a probe into the urethra to reach the prostate. Then, water vapor at 1030C is applied to the prostate approximately 4 – 6 times, depending on the size of the enlargement. Each dose only takes about 9 seconds to apply and water vapor will diffuse between the prostate cells causing their death and the urethra can now expand. The treatment only takes about 10 – 15 minutes.
Afterwards, the doctor will insert a Foley’s catheter into the urethra, which will remain in place got 3 – 5 days to help the patient regain urinary function. It will also help decrease the swelling and speed up recovery. Once the physician removes the catheter, the patient may still have some trouble urinating because the swelling has not gone down completely yet. There might be also some burning sensation as well as blood in urine for about 4 – 6 weeks. Some blood may also come out during ejaculation as well. Overall, symptoms will begin to improve within 2 weeks and most will return to normal within 3 months.
Who Should Receive Treatment?
Benefits of Treating BPE with Water Vapor Therapy
Treatment of BPE with water vapor therapy may have some short-term risks and they are not so severe, such as:
Preparation for Treatment
Patients who will undergo treatment will be prepared physically and mentally, such as X-ray, blood tests, EKG, and consultation with an internist to prepare for pre-operation and systemic anesthesia.
Because a good quality of life is important, BPE treatment is something that men should not ignore. Treatment with water vapor therapy not only takes a short time and recovers quicker, but it also decreases complications so that men can return to their normal routine with confidence.