One of the first men in Fife to have a pioneering surgery for an enlarged prostate has spoken of how it helped change his life for the better.
Andrew Duncan from Upper Largo underwent the new vapour treatment called Rezum six months ago.
NHS Fife is the first board to pioneer the new 10 minute treatment for men with enlarged prostate.
Mr Duncan, 76, was diagnosed at the end of 2017 after requesting a blood test called a PSA.
He says: “I asked to have a PSA test because I lost an old colleague to prostate cancer and have a friend undergoing treatment.
“Within three days of getting the test, I was asked to go into my GP because the result was quite high.
“An MRI scan came back clear so I didn’t require a biopsy, but regular blood tests showed my PSA was jumping around so I went in to see the consultant in 2019.”
When Mr Duncan visited Mr Feras Al Jaafari, Consultant Urological Surgeon, he mentioned an innovative new surgery he’d read about and was interested in – called Rezum. Unfortunately it wasn’t available at the time.
But coincidently, Mr Feras Al Jaafari and his team went on to introduce the new treatment to the Urology surgery department in late 2020 and Mr Duncan was one of the first to receive it.
“By absolute fluke NHS Fife became the first board in Scotland and I got the procedure in December 2020.
“I now get a good night’s sleep – it’s amazing. From that point of view it’s been tremendous. For that alone, it’s worth it.”
Rezum was approved last year by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Why is this treatment different?
The procedure involves small jets of steam injected into the prostate to destroy excess tissue which then causes the prostate to shrink over a period of weeks.
The new procedure means NHS Fife will likely be able to treat more patients and reduce time people have to wait for treatment.
It differs from other treatments in several ways.
- suitable patients can be seen as day cases rather than having to stay overnight.
- the procedure only requires a general anaethestic.
- there is a far smaller chance of long-term effects with this new less-invasive treatment.
- recovery is also quicker with patients up and able to go home just hours after the procedure.
Mr Feras Al Jaafari explains: “Rezum can currently offer such truly minimally invasive surgery for benign prostate issues. This procedure only requires a gentle anaesthetic and therefore carries the least possible side effects for the patient.”
An enlarged prostate is a common problem experienced by men over 50. The condition affects almost one in three men in their 50s.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can include:
- urinary problems
- sleepless nights
- decreased quality of life
How does an enlarged prostate affect patients?
The condition can cause those affected to:
- need to urinate much more frequently
- have problems with initiating urination (hesitancy)
- have interruption of the urine flow (intermittency)
- have difficulty in emptying the bladder, increasing the risk of urinary tract infections
What other treatments are available?
Traditional treatment for this condition routinely involves medication, however pills are not always effective and, in some cases, can result in side-effects.
The drawbacks with traditional surgery however, are that these interventions are invasive, may require a stay in hospital and can affect sexual function.