Consultant urologist, Neil Fenn, is passionate about medical innovation and ensuring that he offers cutting edge procedures that will benefit his patients.
Here, he discusses a new pioneering prostate treatment that is being launched at HMT Sancta Maria Hospital this month.
“As men get older, many will find that their urinary function changes. Starting at around the age of 40 in most men, the prostate gland can enlarge and begin to cause problems including difficulty urinating or needing to use the toilet more, especially at night. Sometimes this enlargement is the sign of a more serious condition such as prostate cancer but for most, it is due to BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia).
“BPH can be treated medically with drugs designed to relax the muscle in the prostate and reduce the swelling but in many cases, surgery is the best option. Until now, patients have been faced with mainly invasive surgical options including TURP (Transurethral Resection of the Prostate) or laser prostatectomy in which part of the prostate gland is removed, allowing urine to flow more freely.
“Fortunately, there is now a new minimally-invasive treatment called Rezum which is now being offered at HMT Sancta Maria Hospital. Rezum is a NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) approved treatment which uses heated water vapor to destroy excess prostate tissue and to shrink the enlarged prostate. Because of its minimally invasive nature, we can offer Rezum as a day surgery case, making it much easier for patients to recover and regain normal function.
“One of the key benefits of Rezum is that it can be suitable for patients who would not otherwise be good surgical candidates. Elderly men and people who aren’t fit enough for more invasive procedures can benefit from Rezum. It can also be suitable for sexually active men who want to preserve their sexual function.
“A recent report compiled by Boston Scientific Company revealed the four-year data of a randomised controlled trial of Rezum on 188 patients. The trial showed a surgical retreatment rate of just 4.4% and no new adverse events at the four-year post-treatment mark. The clinical results also highlighted continued preservation of sexual functions four years on.
“The treatment is widely available throughout Europe and the US and we’re thrilled to now be offering it from HMT Sancta Maria Hospital in Swansea. I have personally been trained by experts in Paris who have been carrying out the procedure for a number of years. HMT Sancta Maria Hospital has committed to permanently offering this procedure as part of a portfolio of treatments we can offer to a wide population of men.
“While treatments like TURP still have their place, it is important to focus on the future and to invest in minimally invasive treatments that can yield excellent results. The four-year data for Rezum shows a very low re-treatment and complication rate and we can’t wait to see our current and future patients benefitting from it.
“We anticipate that Rezum will take over as the main treatment for men suffering with BHP and we envisage that we will carry out the procedure at least once or twice a week in the first few months. Patients have been asking me about the treatment for a number of months now and it’s great that we’re now in a position to offer it.
“HMT Sancta Maria is focussed on future-proofing its treatments and procedures as it prepares to move to its new state-of-the-art hospital in SA1 this Autumn. Their forward-thinking approach and commitment to permanently installing the Rezum equipment will be of great benefit to men in Swansea and beyond.”