BPH Treatment Options: Rezūm FAQ

Man walking across street after Rezum treatment for BPH | Pacific Urology East SF Bay AreaAddressing the common problem of an enlarged prostate with a new treatment

According to the National Institutes of Health, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) affects as many as 14 million men in the United States and is most common for men over the age of 50. BPH can pinch the urethra, which reduces or completely blocks the flow of urine from the bladder.

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Are you experiencing symptoms of BPH? The expert doctors at Pacific Urology provide a variety of minimally invasive treatment options to give you your life back.

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These millions of men have many options to address the problem including surgery, medications, lifestyle changes and minimally invasive procedures. At Pacific Urology, we offer one of the most advanced options to treat BPH with Rezūm therapy, a radiofrequency, water vapor thermal treatment.

As it is one of the newest treatments available, I often get many questions about Rezūm therapy. Let’s address some of the most common queries from patients considering BPH treatments.

About Rezūm

The Rezūm treatment is a transurethral needle ablation performed as an outpatient procedure. Using a hand-held device inserted through a man’s urethra, the urologist injects water vapor into the prostate tissue. The steam reduces the extra tissue that causes an enlarged prostate.

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Is the Rezūm BPH treatment painful?

From lasers to medications, there are plenty of options available to treat BPH. Rezūm has the benefits of minimally invasive and minimally painful. With Rezūm we do not remove any tissue. The tissue is heated, and the body remolds it.

There is some discomfort during the procedure, however to minimize the pain we utilize local anesthesia in conjunction with nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas. The total treatment time for Rezūm is three to five minutes. Other procedures to treat BPH can take from 40 minutes to multiple hours and require general anesthesia.

Because there is no general anesthesia, the patient does know what is happening. This can cause mild discomfort during the procedure but with our combination of nitrous oxide and local anesthesia, we are making it very tolerable with minimal pain and discomfort.

Related Reading: Pacific Urology Receives Recognition as Rezūm Center of Excellence

Is it painful after the treatment? How about recovery?

Rezūm therapy is an outpatient procedure that men can drive themselves home from. They also do not have to come back into my office until four weeks after the procedure. It is simply less in-office time than with most BPH treatments.

Patients will have a catheter in place that they will remove at home themselves. A lot of men are very concerned about the catheter and ask if they have to have one. Yes, it is necessary for three to five days minimum after Rezūm therapy.

About 10% of patients will need a catheter for longer than that.

The first two to three weeks will include some mild pain, blood in the urine and possibly mild burning during urination. Most of these side effects can be addressed through mild pain medications or a heating pad.

However, after those initial weeks, the BPH begins to improve and will continue to do so for the next three months.

Will this BPH treatment affect my sexual function?

One of the big benefits of Rezūm therapy is there is practically no chance of any impotence. I say practically, because any procedure for BPH can cause impotence due to the nature of disrupting the area. But with Rezūm, we are not removing any tissue or opening the patient in any way. So there is little opportunity for problems with sexual function to occur.

There is about a 5% chance of retrograde ejaculation with Rezūm therapy, which is when the semen enters the bladder rather than exiting through the penis during orgasm. With surgeries to address BPH, that chance is roughly 80%-85% that retrograde ejaculation will be a side effect.

At Pacific Urology we have treated more than 400 patients with Rezūm therapy and had excellent results with no major complications.

Watch: Dr. Sethi discusses the benefits of Rezum.

How long does the Rezūm treatment for enlarged prostate last?

A recent five-year study found that only 4% to 5% of the men who were treated with Rezūm therapy needed any additional treatment. And 95% were stable without medication or anything else.

Rezūm’s success is comparable to performing a big prostate surgery but without any of the side effects. Rezūm therapy is successful for 85% to 95% of patients. It is also an alternative for patients who would otherwise take medications for the rest of their lives.