BRADFORD Royal Infirmary (BRI) has become the first hospital in Yorkshire to offer a revolutionary treatment that offers hope for men suffering with prostate problems.
The innovative steam procedure is now available at BRI, part of Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and is set to transform the lives of patients who suffer with Benign Prostate Hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate gland.
The problem commonly causes repetitive night-time visits to the bathroom, but many men find that having rushed out of bed they cannot urinate after all.
The radical new ‘REZUM’ treatment uses water vapour therapy to shrink the prostate, a minimally invasive treatment, which can be done during one session and avoids major surgery and drugs – both of which have side effects.
Consultant urological surgeons Alistair Stewart and Jyoti Basu have received specialist training in delivering the procedure and are preparing to carry out the first ‘REZUM’ procedures on the first six patients next month.
Mr Stewart said: “’REZUM’ is an exciting new, minimally-invasive treatment option for BPH, which is very common and affects around 50 per cent of men by the age of 60 and up to 90 per cent of men by the age of 85. I’m absolutely thrilled that we have become the first trust in Yorkshire to be able to offer this treatment to our patients. It is going to make a major difference to their quality of life.
“I’m proud to be part of a Urology team that is so forward-looking and is well ahead of the game when it comes to technology and breakthroughs in treatments. This latest treatment is another example of the continually improving care we can offer to our patients.
“‘REZUM’ is NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) approved and we have excellent five year data on it from randomised control studies.”
He added: “The symptoms of BPH include urinary frequency, irregular flow, a weak stream and getting up several times during the night to urinate. In extreme cases men can develop acute urinary retention, a condition where they cannot urinate at all; this is obviously very painful and something we would like to avoid.
“The usual treatment for BPH is called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) or prostate rebore as I sometimes describe it. Although this is effective, it can lead to loss of sexual function, bleeding and incontinence. This means up to 60 minutes in theatre and an average of two days of recovery time in an NHS bed.
“However ‘REZUM’ offers a real alternative with no side effects and where erectile and ejaculatory function and continence is preserved. The treatment can be carried out as a day case with the actual procedure taking only around 10 minutes.”
During the procedure, sterile water vapour or stream is injected into the prostate gland tissue. When the steam turns back into water, stored energy is realised causing the cells to die. The body’s natural healing response removes the dead cells, shrinking the prostate.
“After two to three months, the shrinkage is complete and then patients really begin to feel the difference. By this time, the urine flow can potentially double too which is a massive benefit.”
One of the first patients to undergo the ‘REZUM’ treatment is 60-year-old Eric Armstrong. Mr Armstrong said: “I started having prostate problems around two years ago and have been taking medication. When it became obvious I would need surgery, I was prepared for it as an enlarged prostate has definitely had an impact on my life; mainly due to a difficulty in peeing.
“Then when I met up with Mr Stewart and he told me about ‘REZUM’, I felt like this was going to make such a difference. It might seem strange to say I’m actually excited about having a hospital procedure but that’s how I feel in a way. I feel so lucky to be having my care in Bradford which now offers this revolutionary procedure. It’s less invasive with minimal side effects and I’ll be spending hardly any time in hospital. I’m incredibly grateful.”
Another patient is 61-year-old Graeme Edgar, who has been receiving treatment from the Urology team at BRI for an enlarged prostate for the past three years.
Mr Edgar added: “When I began my treatment with the medication, I’d read about ‘REZUM’ and mentioned it to the Urology team but was told, at that time, it wasn’t available in Bradford. It then became apparent that I would need surgery and when I met Mr Stewart recently I was delighted to discover that he had been trained and he was very pleased to be able to offer it here.
“I am so grateful that I can have it as I have read all about the benefits and the recovery time compared to the other type of surgery – and I know this is going to make a really positive difference to my quality of life.”
Picture caption: Consultant Urological Surgeon Alistair Stewart with the ‘REZUM’ kit