What is Rezūm and how is it used to treat BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or the enlarged prostate)?

Rezūm is one of several new treatments for BPH designed to be as minimally invasive as possible. It is carried out using a local anaesthetic (a general anaesthetic is not required) and there are no incisions or need for an overnight hospital stay. Rezūm is based on targeting the surplus prostate tissue with water vapour (steam), damaging and killing the tissue. The dead tissue is then removed from the body via the normal process of passing urine. By reducing surplus prostate tissue in this way, the pressure on the urethra is alleviated and the flow of urine should improve.

Does it work?

This is an approach which has been used for several years in the United States but is new to the UK. Initial results are promising: this study of 197 men who had the treatment shows significant symptom relief, improvement in peak flow and no erectile dysfunction or other complications. Among treatment approaches based on displacing or damaging surplus prostate tissue (others would be UroLift and iTind), Rezūm seems effective. But it will not be suitable for all men and because it is such a new treatment, results data are inevitably limited.

Do we offer Rezūm at BPC?

We have been using Rezūm at BPC since the start of 2018 and are one of the only clinics in the UK currently offering this procedure. If this is something you are considering, you will need to come to our clinic for an assessment. This will include an ultrasound scan of your prostate and/or a cystoscopy to establish the size and shape of your prostate. We will then discuss you what treatment approaches are suitable and are able to offer you the widest choice of advanced and established treatments.

What can I expect from a Rezūm procedure?

You would come to one of our hospitals for your procedure. You will be given a local anaesthetic in your bladder and prostate area. The Rezūm system itself is a hand-held device in which sterile water is heated to a very high temperature and applied to the prostate via a tissue. The surgeon activates bursts of steam carefully targeted into the prostate for a duration of a few seconds. Several bursts are used, the number depending on size and structure of the prostate.

What can I expect after the procedure?

You will have some time in the clinic immediately after your procedure to recover and to check you can pass urine, but we expect you to be able to return home within hours of having the procedure. Bear in mind, Rezūm works by killing tissue cells and the process of cells dying then passing through the body in urine takes place during the first few weeks after your procedure. Some men find they have immediate symptom relief and for others, their flow and urinary symptoms improve more gradually, in the weeks after the procedure.

Further reading: this article by our consultant urologist Alan Doherty provides a valuable guide to understanding all the different treatments for the enlarged prostate and which one might be right for you.