MAYWOOD, IL.—Loyola Medicine is offering an innovative, fast and minimally invasive, one-time treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, a common condition affecting most older men.
By age 50, more than 50% of men (and more than 90% by age 85) suffer from BPH, which causes a variety of uncomfortable and disruptive symptoms, including:
- Night time waking to urinate (nocturia)
- An increased frequency and urgency to urinate
- The feeling that the bladder has not quite emptied following urination
- A weak urine stream
If left untreated, BPH can lead to more serious urinary, bladder and kidney problems.
The condition typically evolves over many years, when non-cancerous, unnecessary tissue grows within the urethra, says Loyola urologist and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine professor of urology Kevin McVary, MD, in a Loyola Medicine video. Dr. McVary is also the director of the newly opened Men’s Health Center at the Loyola Center for Health in Burr Ridge.
“Around the mid-20s, there’s a small portion of the prostate, called the transition zone, which suddenly begins to grow new tissue,” says Dr. McVary. The transition zone is located in the urethra, “the outlet of the bladder to the outside world, where it can block the flow of urination.”
Prescription medication can minimize BPH symptoms, but often with side effects that may include sexual dysfunction. Loyola offers a new water vapor therapy (RezumÔ), which takes less than 10 minutes and involves the insertion of a scope into the urethra (administered with anesthesia).
“Just a drop of water is converted to steam, actually inside the handle of the instrument,” says Dr. McVary. “The steam travels through the prostate tissues, between the cells, and within nine seconds has killed any prostate cell it touches.”
As the procedure is “confined to only the obstructive tissue,” it does not diminish or alter a patient’s sexual function. A recent study by Dr. McVary, published in the Journal of Urology, found that the procedure continued to offer “significant improvements in lower urinary tract symptoms, quality of life and flow rate at five years post procedure.
Many men “are not interested in taking medication for the rest of their life,” says Dr. McVary. This is a one-time, “definitive procedure” that can safely and quickly eliminate BPH and related symptoms.