A piece by Jonathan Page in today’s Times:
Millions of middle-aged men who suffer from enlarged prostates may soon be relieved by a steam treatment.
The procedure, which takes five minutes, should help to reduce the need for surgery. Side effects are said to be minimal and it is expected to be approved for routine NHS use this week.
Enlarged prostates can cause problems with night-time urination, where men rush to the bathroom but then cannot pass any liquid. Other symptoms may include frequent urination, trouble starting to urinate or loss of bladder control, while complications can include urinary tract infections and chronic kidney problems.
The condition has been diagnosed in two million men in Britain, but it is thought to affect as many as half of all men over the age of 50. The treatment, Rezum, involves nine-second bursts of steam being injected into the prostate via a tube inserted into the urethra. Enough tissue is killed by the procedure to shrink the gland.
The procedure has been trialled on 150 men at Imperial College Healthcare Trust in London and Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
It is hoped that men who had been reluctant to have more invasive surgery, which can affect sexual function, may try the steam procedure. The procedure is also expected to save the NHS money because it takes up much less theatre time than surgery.
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