MONROE, N.C. — Millions of men across the country deal with a very common problem. It’s known as enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia. One patient says there’s now a treatment available that he thinks many men still don’t know about.
What You Need To Know
Benign prostatic hyperplasia causes the prostate tissue to enlarge
BPH affects about 50% of men between the ages of 51 and 60, and about 90% of men 80 or older
Rezum Water Vapor Therapy was FDA approved a few years ago to treat BPH
It uses water vapor to shrink the prostate tissue
Four year ago, William Oxener had a hard time sitting for long periods of time before he had to use the restroom. It woke him up when he was sleeping and disrupted his everyday life.
“If I was playing golf I had to make sure I planned out where I was going to the bathroom,” Oxener said. “It was crazy.”
His doctor diagnosed him with benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate. This puts pressure on the urethra, which can cause urination issues. He was prescribed medication.
“The medication was affecting me in several bad ways,” Oxener said. “I couldn’t live anywhere close to a normal life.”
Dr. David Kang with Urology Specialist of the Carolinas said medication has been the most common form of treatment for BPH, but it can have undesirable side effects.
“Particularly important for men, there are sexual side effects, so it can cause erectile dysfunction,” Kang said.
When a treatment known as Rezume Water Vapor Therapy was approved by the FDA a few years ago, Kang started offering it to his patients. Oxener was one of his first patients to receive it.
“A tiny little probe is actually what will go into the enlarged prostate tissue and release steam,” Dr. Kang said.
The procedure does not require anesthesia and is performed under oral sedation. The goal is to shrink the prostate tissue. Kang said it is usually a one-day procedure.
“I haven’t had a problem yet, and it has been over four years,” Oxender said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
The American Urology Association has included it in their BPH treatment guidelines, noting four years of follow-up data. But Oxener said he thinks many men still don’t know this is an option.
“Men in general don’t talk about any of this, but Kang, I feel like he saved my life and I just think people should know," Oxender said.
Kang said most side effects of Rezume Therapy were mild to moderate and usually resolved within a few weeks. The treatment is covered by most insurances. Costs vary based on coverage plan and benefits. Urology Specialists of the Carolinas has been recognized as a Center for Excellence for Rezum Water Vapor Therapy.