Prostate gland enlargement is commonly found in men over 50 years old. The primary cause of the enlargement is changes in male hormones as one ages.
In present days, a water vapor-based technology, called Rezum water vapor therapy, is used to treat prostate enlargement without requiring a surgery. This procedure takes only 10–15 minutes to complete.
Dr. Santapon Chamnarnprai, a surgeon specialized in urology at Vejthani Hospital, explained that when a prostate gland is enlarged, it may compresses the urethra and causes it to be narrowed. This may lead to painful urination, frequent urinations at night, inability to hold urine, and inability to completely empty the bladder.
General treatment for prostate enlargement includes changing of habits, such as reducing water intake at night, and lowering consumption of caffeinated drinks including tea and coffee.
The disease can also be treated with medications that reduce contractions of muscle of the prostate gland. The medications will improve painful urinating symptoms so it is crucial to be taken continuously.
However, for those with severe symptoms, such as inability to urinate and have bloody urine, doctor may consider transurethral resection of the prostate using a resectoscope, which is a surgical procedure. This is to prevent complications such as infections and chronic kidney disease.
With the current advancement of medical technologies, Rezum water vapor therapy, which is a non-surgical treatment is used to reduce the size of an enlarged prostate and widen the urethra. The surgery is done by inserting a resectoscope through the urethra into the prostate gland. Then the doctor will spray water vapor of 103 degree Celsius into the gland for 9 seconds per time, repeating 6–10 times. The hot vapor will be dispersed to destroy cells of the prostate gland that block the urethra. After that, the body will naturally eliminate the dead cells.
This non-surgical water vapor treatment is safe and takes only 10–15 minutes to complete. No sedation or overnight stay at the hospital is required. Only a short recovery period is needed before going home on the same day.
After the treatment, doctor will leave an indwelling urinary catheter to the patient for around 7 days. This will help those who cannot urinate themselves, allowing them to recover from swelling and aching faster.
After 7 days, the doctor will have a follow-up appointment and will remove the catheter. Initially, the patient may experience slight pain as the gland could still be swollen. Some may also feel burning sensations or have small amount of blood mixed in the urine for 4–6 weeks. In general, these symptoms should get better in 2 weeks. Mostly the symptoms will improve in 6 weeks and the treatment result should remain effective for 5 years. A follow-up examination will be done every 2–5 years.
Rezum water vapor technology is suitable for patients who are diagnosed with an enlarged prostate of 30–80 grams and have not responded well to medications or have side effects from medications, and are unable to undergo prolonged sedation for
the surgery. In addition, patients who wish to receive water vapor therapy must not have bladder infection or a transplanted reproductive organ.
“Prostate gland enlargement is commonly found in males over 50 years. The disease should not be overlooked as leaving it untreated can lead to complications and raises the difficulties of the treatment process. This is why I recommend people to observe their urinations. If abnormalities are found, it is vital to immediately see a doctor for investigations because preventions and early treatment always lead to more effective result,” Dr. Santapon said.
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