Skip to main content

Hurstville Private Hospital first in Australia to launch new prostate procedure

Urologists at Hurstville Private first to offer the new procedure that aims to help men with BPH. Rezūm therapy, is a ground-breaking radiofrequency treatment that uses water vapour to reduce an enlarged prostate.

A new procedure that targets the prostate is making waves for men in St George and Sutherland Shire.

De-brief: Dr Cozzi explains the ground-breaking procedure to patient, Ron. Picture: John Veage

 De-brief: Dr Cozzi explains the ground-breaking procedure to patient, Ron. Picture: John Veage

Hurstville Private Hospital was the first in Australia to launch the operation after it had wide success in the US and in Europe.

The procedure, called Rezūm therapy, is a ground-breaking radiofrequency treatment that uses water vapour to reduce an enlarged prostate.

Known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, the often painful and restrictive condition typically occurs after the age of 40.

Almost 50 per cent of men over the age of 50 and up to 90 per cent of men over the age of 80 will develop prostatic hyperplasia.

Symptoms include frequently waking during the night to urinate, increased urgency, irregular and weak urinary flow, anxiety, and challenges with sexual function.

The minimally invasive procedure does not involve radical surgery and is the first interventional procedure that can treat prostate enlargement.

Using a tube inserted into the urethra (urinary canal), water vapour is dispersed around the prostate cells. As vapour condenses, it releases the stored thermal energy to denature prostate tissue cell membranes, causing the obstructive prostate tissue cells to die.

Over one to three months, the body’s natural healing process re-absorbs the treated tissue, reducing the size of the prostate, enabling the urethra to re-open.

Urological surgeon, Paul Cozzi, is one of several specialists at the hospital who perform the procedure.

He says the new therapy is a significant advance that is set to become first-line treatment for many Australian men.

“It is the first enlarged prostate treatment option that is suitable for all men, irrespective of prostate shape or size,” he said.

“The procedure has no side effects or impact on urinary or sexual function –  two of the most significant concerns of other treatment options.

“Clinical studies have shown the procedure to have strong, sustained symptom improvement.”

He said to date, treatment options ranged from least invasive through to surgery. 

“These include lifestyle changes, medications and various surgical and laser procedures that either hold the prostate out of the way or remove part of the prostate through surgery or with lasers,” he said.

“Not all of these options have been suitable or effective for all patients.”

Retired TAFE teacher, Ron, 65, of Rockdale, was one of the first to undergo the procedure this month.

“I was aware of prostate enlargement but thought it was a condition that affected really old men,” he said.

“My main issue was a very slow stream when passing water, particularly after I’d had alcohol, it would take more time and required more effort.

“As a man you don’t know what happens to other men, you only know about yourself.”

Dr Cozzi says the procedure will prove particularly useful for patients with enlarged middle lobes, and who have limited surgical options.

Patients are encouraged to meet with their specialist to discuss treatment options and assess whether this treatment is viable for them.

The hospital states that while there is a delay in the current availability of surgical stock, more is due to arrive in Australia by June this year.

“Clinical studies have shown the procedure to have strong, sustained symptom improvement.”

- A/Prof. Paul Cozzi
Hurstville Private

Rezūm Patient Educational Video

Benefits of Rezūm BPH treatment

Rezūm therapy is chosen by many patients due to its minimally invasive nature. It also provides the follow benefits:

  • Preserves sexual and urinary function
  • Alternative to BPH medications
  • Relieves symptoms quickly (typically within two weeks)
  • Does not involve anesthesia
  • Allows patients to return to regular activities within a few days.

How is Rezūm done?

During the Rezūm procedure, a narrow sheath is inserted through the urethra. Once inserted, a thin needle is deployed from the sheath and into the prostate gland.

Water vapor (steam) is then rapidly delivered to the prostate gland, typically within 8-10 seconds. When the water vapor comes into contact with the prostatic tissue, it condenses into its liquid state and releases its stored thermal energy. This thermal energy kills the cell membranes, freeing up the blockage caused by BPH.

Over time, the patient’s body will absorb the treated tissue through its natural healing process.

Side effects and considerations of Rezūm

Side effects

Since it is a minimally invasive procedure, patients who undergo Rezūm experience fewer side effects compared with those seen in invasive surgical procedures. However, with any procedure, side effects may occur temporarily. The most common Rezūm side effects are:

  • Painful urination
  • Blood in semen and urine
  • Frequent urination.

These side effects typically subside on their own within three weeks of the procedure. Discomfort during the short-term healing process can be relieved through:

  • Mild pain medication (Tylenol)
  • A warm bath or heating pad.

The right candidate

Patients should carefully consider each option before deciding on their BPH treatment plan. Rezūm is most successful in patients who meet the following criteria:

  • Men who are not bothered enough by symptoms to elect a surgical procedure
  • Men who are not interested in other minimally invasive treatments
  • Men who have decided to discontinue taking BPH medication.