Men's prostate glands tend to enlarge with age, making urination problematic.
A new treatment that uses steam to reduce the size of the gland is set to become available across the NHS. Here, retired senior manager and grandfather-of-seven, Simon Dutton, 60, who lives with his partner Jane in Gloucester, tells ADRIAN MONTI how it helped him.
Staying fit and healthy has always been important to me.
I go to the gym, ride my mountain bike and run; I eat sensibly, don't smoke, and drink in moderation.
Yet in my early 50s, I needed to urinate more frequently, especially during the night, but often felt I couldn't empty my bladder completely.
About seven years ago, cheap erectile dysfunction pills online my GP referred me to my local hospital.
Luckily, after an examination of my prostate [the walnut- sized gland that wraps around the urethra, which takes urine out of the body] and an MRI scan, cancer was ruled out. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or top erection pills an enlarged prostate, was diagnosed.
I was told that as the gland enlarges, it presses against the bladder making you need the loo frequently and, as the urethra is squashed, urinating is more difficult.
I was prescribed tablets to relax my bladder muscles to make urination easier.
These helped for a few months, but over the next year, I needed to urinate more often — usually every two hours. I would go four times at night, which would disturb my partner, Jane.
I began to feel that my bladder controlled my life.
After erection pills online research, I stopped taking coffee (which can make you need the loo) and wouldn't drink anything after 6pm. But this didn't help.
I regularly saw a urologist and had tests to monitor the growth of my prostate and we discussed treatment options.
Retired senior manager and grandfather-of-seven, Simon Dutton, 60, who lives with his partner Jane in Gloucester, told how a new treatment that uses steam to reduce the size of the prostate gland helped him
I didn't want the most common surgery — transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) — where part of the prostate is removed.
I was worried about side-effects including incontinence and erectile dysfunction. So we discussed less invasive procedures, including clinical trials.
In September 2018 I was put forward for a new treatment, Rezum. I was referred to surgeon Wasim Mahmalji, who explained how blasts of steam from a device inserted into my urethra would destroy enlarged tissue, so removing the blockage which was narrowing the urethra.
The treatment took only ten minutes and you could go home that day.
It seemed less invasive than other surgery and the recovery took only a fortnight.
There were also fewer side-effects, so I jumped at the chance.
A month later I had the procedure at Hereford County Hospital. I had a general anaesthetic, so only remember waking up with a tube in my bladder. I didn't feel any pain, only slight discomfort from the catheter.
Unlike transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) which can damage surrounding tissue and nerves, the steam destroys only the enlarged prostate tissue at which it is targeted (file image)
About four hours after going in, Jane drove me home.
I took things gently for a few days. After a week, the catheter was removed at the hospital. I drank a glass of water to check I could urinate normally.
Straight away I noticed an improvement in my urine flow. Within two weeks everything was working perfectly again. I didn't ever need painkillers.
At a follow-up appointment in May 2019, my urine flow was so strong Mr Mahmalji said my bladder was like a 25-year-old's.
The treatment has given me my life back.
I can go for hours without needing the loo — even at night. It hasn't affected my sexual function either. I hope other men will benefit from it, too.
Wasim Mahmalji is a consultant urologist at Hereford County Hospital and cheap erectile dysfunction pills online Nuffield Hereford Hospital.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia affects roughly 50 per cent of men over 50.
The prostate, which secretes the fluid in semen and has a role in continence, gets bigger in some men due to hormones such as testosterone.
As the gland enlarges, it narrows the urethra. This can lead to symptoms related to urinating, including wanting to go more, struggling to start, and feeling the bladder has not fully emptied.
Tablets can be used to relax the bladder muscles and shrink the prostate.
If these aren't effective (some patients cannot tolerate side-effects, which include dizziness and libido problems), surgery is an option.
In the UK more than 12,000 TURP operations are performed annually — using a resectoscope (a thin tube containing a heated wire and camera) when a section of the prostate is removed.
This surgery takes 60 to 90 minutes. The patient spends a night or two in hospital, before several weeks recovering at home. It has a success rate of 90 to 95 per cent for the following five to ten years.