Steam Treatment for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia

Mar 21, 2019 | Tiffany Rindels | @tiffanyrindels | Comments (65)

BPH

 

It is the genetic destiny of men, as they get older, to start to experience problems with their prostate. Half of men who have prostate problems, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), will experience bothersome symptoms.

Active surveillance, oral medication, lasers or an electric loop that burn the prostate tissue from the inside out  have been historic treatments for BPH. However, steam treatment has shown great promise and is changing the way BPH is treated.

Steam treatment is a convective water therapy that shrinks the prostate. The procedure can be performed in the doctor's office and has a low risk for complications and side effects.

Dr. Tobias Kohler, a urologist at Mayo Clinic, discusses steam treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Helpful Links

More helpful discussion may be found at the Men’s Health Group

Learn more about benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Men's Health blog.

@kayak461

Hi Gerryp….I’m not the doctor you asked the question of…..I was a Mayo Patient and I had HOLEP in May of this year! The “E” in HOLEP stands for enucleation!

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Hi. Can you please comment on side effects. Thank you.

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Hello Pablo81! If you have access to YouTube, you can see and listen to answers to your question. I’m not a doctor and can only tell you about my condition before and after having HOLEP. I had BPH for years, was in the VA System for healthcare, and was taking Finasteride and Tamsulosin for 7 years. I had two colon surgeries and bilateral hernia surgeries under my belt, all of which were performed laparoscopically. After the VA looked up into my bladder and saw that my prostate median lobe was growing up into the bladder, they recommended I have my prostate removed. I began the search for a solution…..it can be somewhat overwhelming. I’m 70 years old and to answer your question on side affects from the HOLEP procedure, I will tell you that I am extremely pleased. I had to have the Foley catheter in for the first night following surgery, I didn’t like that at all. It was removed the following morning after surgery. I have no incontenence! I had minor leaking immediately after the procedure, but that was gone in just the few weeks following. My wife and I still enjoy an active sex life! There is a change though…..I no longer ejaculate semen, but I have the orgasm! The sensation is as it always was previous to surgery, just slightly different because I don’t ejaculate. The nerve endings are there, but the pathway for ejaculation has been disrupted. I’m thrilled with this! Being 70 and no longer capable of producing children doesn’t bother me, but being able to experience the same or near the same feelings during intimacy….I am delighted! My flow during urination is now excellent! After years of slow urination, I now urinate like I did when I was 20 years old. It’s amazing. I’m thrilled with the HOLEP procedure performed by a Urologist at the Mayo Clinic is Jacksonville, FL. If I can answer any other question for you, don’t hesitate to ask. I hope you find the procedure that is right for you….and the right Urologist for the procedure!

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Great information kayak, thank you. There are so many tools in the Urologist’s toolbox that we all have the sometimes confusing decisions to make, just don’t want to make the wrong one. Your experience has given me another option to think about. I’m 70 too, but for now not really having a bad time at it, so putting it off for now, maybe next year. Thanks again

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@kayak461

Hello Pablo81! If you have access to YouTube, you can see and listen to answers to your question. I’m not a doctor and can only tell you about my condition before and after having HOLEP. I had BPH for years, was in the VA System for healthcare, and was taking Finasteride and Tamsulosin for 7 years. I had two colon surgeries and bilateral hernia surgeries under my belt, all of which were performed laparoscopically. After the VA looked up into my bladder and saw that my prostate median lobe was growing up into the bladder, they recommended I have my prostate removed. I began the search for a solution…..it can be somewhat overwhelming. I’m 70 years old and to answer your question on side affects from the HOLEP procedure, I will tell you that I am extremely pleased. I had to have the Foley catheter in for the first night following surgery, I didn’t like that at all. It was removed the following morning after surgery. I have no incontenence! I had minor leaking immediately after the procedure, but that was gone in just the few weeks following. My wife and I still enjoy an active sex life! There is a change though…..I no longer ejaculate semen, but I have the orgasm! The sensation is as it always was previous to surgery, just slightly different because I don’t ejaculate. The nerve endings are there, but the pathway for ejaculation has been disrupted. I’m thrilled with this! Being 70 and no longer capable of producing children doesn’t bother me, but being able to experience the same or near the same feelings during intimacy….I am delighted! My flow during urination is now excellent! After years of slow urination, I now urinate like I did when I was 20 years old. It’s amazing. I’m thrilled with the HOLEP procedure performed by a Urologist at the Mayo Clinic is Jacksonville, FL. If I can answer any other question for you, don’t hesitate to ask. I hope you find the procedure that is right for you….and the right Urologist for the procedure!

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Thank you for your response. I am considering steam therapy as first choice since it is minimally invasive and then Laser as second choice.

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@tkohler

Thanks for the questions. Rezum has good longer term data now showing retreatment required in about 10% of patients after 4 years (half restart medications, the other half undergo an additional procedure). This is very comparable to other technologies or approaches including TURP and laser therapy etc. Rezum can be done in the office for some patients and has the benefit of having low risk of causing sexual side effects. In my practice, all patients keep a catheter for at least 3 days after Rezum with that duration increasing based on prostate size, number of steam treatments required and baseline bladder strength. The reason why is that the procedure causes some inflammation in the area but the treatments do not immediately remove tissue like traditional laser or TURP procedures. Peak treatment effect typically occurs 4-6 weeks after treatment. Based on our experience over the last 5 years in Rochester, the vast majority would opt to undergo the procedure again (97%). It is very important to be proactive with prostate and bladder health - 1 in 7 men come to the Urologist with a bladder (the urine pump) that is already very weak - this limits your surgical options and sometimes forces men to catheterize to empty their bladders. With lower risks of new prostate procedures such as Rezum, I believe healthcare needs to shift patients away from long term prostate medications which may not prevent the bladder from getting weaker.

Keep the questions coming,

Dr Kohler

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Thank you for your thoughtful and comprehensive response. A 97% satisfaction is very impressive. I conclude that for me, REZUM is my #1 option. Will keep you posted. Thanks again.

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@kayak461

Hello Pablo81! It can be overwhelming when trying to figure out what to do. I’m a believer in multiple opinions as my BPH experience ultimately led me to have the HOLEP procedure to reduce the size of my prostate, performed at the Mayo Clinic. I had a Urologist tell me that Rezum was right for me…when it wasn’t. When I found a Urologist that performed nearly all of the procedures out there, he ruled out all procedures and said “there’s only one procedure for you and I can’t perform it”…. it was a load off my mind. He referred me to the Mayo Clinic. Because you’ve had Radiation, your oncologist should weigh in and offer some guidance to help. Find the best Doctors, get their opinion! Best of luck friend!

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You may be confusing me with someone else. I have not had radiation. I have looked in to other procedures such as Urolift and Laser but ruled them out because of various concerns and side effects. Rezum seems like best approach since it can be done without general anesthesia and is a quick, simple procedure that is safe and effective based upon long term study. Additionally it can be repeated and does not preclude other treatments.

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@kayak461

Hello Pablo81! If you have access to YouTube, you can see and listen to answers to your question. I’m not a doctor and can only tell you about my condition before and after having HOLEP. I had BPH for years, was in the VA System for healthcare, and was taking Finasteride and Tamsulosin for 7 years. I had two colon surgeries and bilateral hernia surgeries under my belt, all of which were performed laparoscopically. After the VA looked up into my bladder and saw that my prostate median lobe was growing up into the bladder, they recommended I have my prostate removed. I began the search for a solution…..it can be somewhat overwhelming. I’m 70 years old and to answer your question on side affects from the HOLEP procedure, I will tell you that I am extremely pleased. I had to have the Foley catheter in for the first night following surgery, I didn’t like that at all. It was removed the following morning after surgery. I have no incontenence! I had minor leaking immediately after the procedure, but that was gone in just the few weeks following. My wife and I still enjoy an active sex life! There is a change though…..I no longer ejaculate semen, but I have the orgasm! The sensation is as it always was previous to surgery, just slightly different because I don’t ejaculate. The nerve endings are there, but the pathway for ejaculation has been disrupted. I’m thrilled with this! Being 70 and no longer capable of producing children doesn’t bother me, but being able to experience the same or near the same feelings during intimacy….I am delighted! My flow during urination is now excellent! After years of slow urination, I now urinate like I did when I was 20 years old. It’s amazing. I’m thrilled with the HOLEP procedure performed by a Urologist at the Mayo Clinic is Jacksonville, FL. If I can answer any other question for you, don’t hesitate to ask. I hope you find the procedure that is right for you….and the right Urologist for the procedure!

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Surprised to hear that VA urologist recommended removal of prostate! Such major surgery. Glad you found a solution.

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Hello Pablo81! The reason the VA recommended Prostate Surgery is because the median lobe of the prostate was growing up and into my bladder. One of the Urologists that I visited, who performs the Rezume’ procedure, told me that Rezume’ would not work in my case because the lobe growing up into my bladder couldn’t be “steamed” for risk of damaging the bladder. It also bothered me that the steamed and decaying Prostate was left in my body, thus the risk for sepsis. I am looking forward to hearing from you after surgery on how it all comes out! Good luck friend!

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I want to share my information in the hopes that it will help others with similar problems; plus I have one question (at the end). I am 75 now and started having difficulty urinating about 6 years ago. My urologist at the time prescribed Alfuzosin 10mg once a day. That helped a lot, but after 2-3 years I started to have difficulty again. My urologist did a cystoscopy and said my bladder had lost some flexibility and prescribed Oxybutin 5mg once a day. This worked until early last year when I started having problem again. My urologist retired so I had a new one that did another cystoscopy and said my prostate had grown and I should take the Alfuzosin twice a day along with the Oxybutin. This worked until the end of 2022 and then I started to have problems again. In addition I started to have chest pains and saw a cardiologist that did x-ray, EKG and stress test. His conclusion was that my heart was fine but that the Alfuzosin was probably causing the chest pain. So my urologist recommended the Rezum procedure. I had the procedure done on 1/26/23. It was extremely painful. More than I expected. I was on a catheter for 5 days which was also extremely uncomfortable especially at night. I bled from my penis around the catheter the entire 5 days. The catheter was removed on 1/31/23. The nurse told me to drink a lot of fluids to keep the urine flowing to prevent a clot which might cause me to have be re-catheterized. It has been 5 days and I can hardly urinate at all. My urologist prescribed the double dose of Alfuzosin for another 30 days, but it is not helping. All I urinate is a teaspoon or two at a time every 45 minutes. This is a manageable problem during the day but a bigger problem at night. It's impossible to get a good nights sleep, and last night I was awake for 3hours trying to urinate a little to relieve the pressure. Finally a lot of blood came out and I was able to urinate a little. I am still bleeding and still can't urinate more than a teaspoonful at a time and it stings each time. Plus, my urologist had me Cipro 1000mg/day for 7 days. My hemorrhoids acted up and I thought the Cipro was making me constipated, but after stopping the Cipro my problem continued and I realized that my perineum was swollen and irritated probably from the swollen prostate. So, I was bleeding from both ends. This is where I am today. My question is this: I can live with the bleeding and pain and discomfort for the 6-12 weeks that they say it will take to recover, but how long will it take before I can empty my bladder. This is my biggest problem. At this point I can't say that I would recommend the Rezum procedure to my worst enemy.

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On behalf of readers like myself who have seriously considered the Rezum treatment, thank you for caring and taking the time to report your experience to all of us while in the midst of your slow and challenging recovery from the procedure. While we may find hundreds of cases who had a good experience with Rezum, there are likewise hundreds of patients who've had at least a long healing period after the surgery. Note in my opinion we need to recognize the potential trauma to human tissue that even an out - patient "office procedure" can induce to our body in even a short procedure and call it what it is: surgery.

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