Non-invasive prostate steam treatment gets green light from NICE

A PIONEERING treatment that could help thousands of men suffering with enlarged prostates has been approved by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – thanks to work carried out by clinicians at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Rezum is a treatment that uses small amounts of steam to cause an enlarged prostate to shrink, easing symptoms such as difficulty passing water and needing to visit the toilet more frequently and with more urgency. It can be carried out under local anaesthetic and has less risk of the side effects associated with more invasive surgical treatments.

Rezum has been trialled at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital over the past year and a study followed the recovery of 79 men following steam treatment. It showed that the treatment significantly improved urinary symptoms six months after having the procedure. The findings also showed little risk of incontinence, sexual dysfunction or bleeding, which can be side effects of surgical treatment, while re-treatment rates were low.

The steam technique takes 10-15 minutes under local anaesthetic, with patients leaving hospital the same day. Traditional procedures take over an hour and require a hospital stay of 2-3 days. Basingstoke hospital, part of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Charing Cross hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, are the only NHS centres in the UK currently providing Rezum treatment.

Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital is the lead centre for this treatment, having undertaken the majority of procedures to date and delivered a seminar to over 50 interested surgeons from around the UK on this innovative technique.

Richard Hindley, lead urologist at Hampshire Hospitals, which runs Basingstoke hospital, as well as the hospitals in Andover and Winchester, and visiting professor at the University of Winchester, carried out the first Rezum treatment in the UK last year. He said: “Rezum getting NICE approval is fantastic news for men across the country.

“70 per cent of men over 70 and half of men over 50 suffer some symptoms due to an enlarged prostate,” Mr Hindley, who is also a visiting professor at the University of Winchester, added. “Until now, we have treated this with medication until it got to the point where we had to carry out a fairly big operation to ease the problems.

“Rezum is a very quick procedure and patients can be discharged the same day. It is also a non-invasive treatment, meaning there is much less chance of it having side effects, improving quality of life overall.

“It has been a privilege for both myself and the team at Hampshire Hospitals to be central to the introduction of this new treatment to the UK.”

Nicholas Pyne, a patient who has received Rezum treatment at Basingstoke hospital, said: “Although it’s a very common procedure I was very worried about the regular treatment as everyone kept telling me of the risks, how invasive it is and the impact on sexual dysfunction.

“When it turned out I was suitable for this new treatment, I was delighted. The treatment itself was fine, I recovered much quicker than I thought I would and the results have been brilliant – far better than I expected and as far as I’m concerned a complete success.

“All I can say is everything works as normal now, thanks to everyone at Basingstoke hospital, Mr Hindley and his whole team.”

Professor Hashim Ahmed, Imperial College, added: “’It frees up huge NHS resources because you need much less theatre time. You are also opening up tens of thousands of days of bed occupation around the country.”