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Rezum Water Vapor Therapy for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)

What is benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)?

BPH is a common non-cancerous condition usually found in men over 40 to 50 and is almost always present to some degree in men over 70. This occurs when the prostate, a small oval-shaped gland normally measuring about 1 ½ to 2 inches, enlarges to the point where it puts significant pressure on its internal urethra which is the tube that conducts the emptying of urine from the sac where it is stored called the bladder.

The back pressure on the urethra inhibits the flow of urine resulting in pressure due to fluid retention in the bladder. Think of it like limiting the spraying of a garden hose by stepping on it with your shoe, gradually increasing the amount of weight you place on it. As the hose becomes flattened with increasing weight, the water approaching the narrowing backs up causing increased pressure.

The bladder then enlarges from the increased pressure of urinary retention and can become damaged. The wall can become thickened, inflamed, and sensitive, eventually weakening, or becoming infected if the problem is not addressed on a timely basis. This results in the common BPH symptoms of

   • Poor quality of urine stream on voiding or incomplete emptying
   • Increased urgency
   • Urinary leakage
   • Waking at night for frequent urination

It is important to note that these common symptoms can also be caused by other, more serious conditions, so it is necessary to consult your AUCNY urologist to rule out less common but potentially dangerous causes. The diagnosis of BPH is often made by:

   • History and Physical examination including a digital rectal examination
   • Blood test including a PSA test
   • Rectal ultrasound and/or prostate biopsy
   • Urine flow study and/or cystoscopy

What is Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy?

Rezum Water Vapor Therapy is a quick non-surgical treatment method which is performed in the AUCNY urologist’s office, without the necessity of general anesthesia. The enlarged prostate is subjected to 9-second pulses of sterile water vapor (steam) during multiple treatments to shrink the prostate and relieve the pressure placed upon the urethra. Although the procedure only takes a few minutes, the entire appointment may be one to two hours in length.

When the urethral pressure decreases, urinary flow improves with the preservation of sexual function. Two weeks to three months is the usual expected time frame for symptom improvement. Pain medication is used during the procedure but again, general anesthesia or surgical intervention is not a part of this procedure. Results may vary so discuss this option with your AUCNY urologist.