Revolutionary Thermal Treatments of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia Alleviate Symptoms
Thermal treatments of benign prostatic hyperplasia take a longer time. Thermal procedures alleviate symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia by using convective heat transfer from a radiofrequency generator. Transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) of the prostate uses low-energy radio waves, delivered by tiny needles at the tip of a catheter, to heat prostatic tissue. A six-month study of 12 men with BPH (age 56 to 76) found the treatment reduced AUA Symptom Index scores by 61%, and produced minor side effects (including mild pain or difficulty urinating for one to seven days in all the men). Retrograde ejaculation occurred in one patient. Another thermal treatment, transurethral microwave therapy (TUMT), is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery for patients with bladder outflow obstruction caused by BPH. Performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, TUMT damages prostatic tissue by microwave energy (heat) that is emitted from a urethral catheter.
A new form of thermal therapy, called water vapor thermal therapy or Rezum, involves conversion of thermal energy into water vapor to cause cell death in the prostate. Studies examining the six-month prostate size after water vapor thermal therapy demonstrated a 29% reduction in prostate size by MRI.
With thermal therapies, several treatment sessions may be necessary, and most men need more treatment for BPH symptoms within five years after their initial thermal treatment.