Looking back, Safa says he would not have weathered a year of restless nights and frustration over his frequent trips to the bathroom had he known about a simple procedure that could fix his urinary frequency.
Now, more than six months after undergoing a measure to shrink his prostate, the 71-year-old San Ramon resident wants others to know about a treatment that made him feel like a new man.
Continually exhausted from the five to seven nightly trips to the bathroom, Safa visited his general practitioner for urinary frequency and partial voiding. He was put on VESIcare, a drug thought to reduce frequent urination by interacting with the chemicals that cause the bladder muscle to contract.
For Safa, the drug just didn’t do the trick.
“If I wasn’t retired and I had a job, the late nights would make it nearly impossible to work,” says Safa. “It was very frustrating.”
Safa had what’s known as a benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a non-cancerous enlarged prostate. Nearly all men will develop BPH and it’s estimated up to 50 percent of men with the condition will have some degree of troublesome urinary symptoms.
For men like Safa who suffer from symptomatic or clinical BPH, when the prostate grows and impedes upon its anatomical neighbors – especially the urethra – urinary frequency, urgency, stream hesitancy, dribbling, intermittent voiding and voiding at night (Nocturia) can all become problems.
While the actual cause of BPH is unknown, it’s believed that the condition is the product of hormonal changes that are triggered by aging, increased fat intake, obesity, diabetes and a sedentary lifestyle.
After nearly a year on medication for his unrelenting symptoms, Safa was referred to Pacific Urology’s Dr. Parminder Sethi who suggested that he might try a minimally invasive heat therapy to shrink his prostate.
Prostiva RF Therapy, formerly known as transurethral needle ablation of the prostate, is a minimally invasive, office-based treatment for men with urinary symptoms for prostate enlargement.
Dr. Sethi, who was recently recognized at the American Urology Association (AUA) conference for his work with the technology, says that he’s seeing great hope in both the initial symptom improvement and long-term relief from BPH.
The goal of the procedure is to improve urination by destroying excess prostate tissue and neutralize the key messengers responsible for cellular growth in the prostate. This is done by using targeted radiofrequency to release heat on the affected area.
Safa says that he went ahead with the procedure because it meant that he would potentially not have to continue medication.
According to Safa, the office-based therapy took 20-30 minute and he was awake for the procedure the whole time.
“For other guys considering the treatment, there’s no need to be scared of the pain,” Safa says. “I didn’t feel a thing. Dr. Sethi and I just talked casually and it was over before I knew it.”
Safa reports that within a month of the treatment, his sleep was no longer interrupted by urinary symptoms.
“I would recommend to this anyone, especially those who have tried medications before. I feel like a new man,” says Safa.