Rezūm is an FDA-approved treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The procedure is completed on an outpatient basis.

Medication alone may not always be an effective treatment for BPH, a condition that affects half of all men ages 60 and over.

Though some patients may undergo surgery if an enlarged prostate is pressing on the urethra and impacting urination habits, others often like to explore alternative options due to the risks associated with invasive procedures such as prostate removal.

Rezūm therapy, also referred to as convective radiofrequency water vapor thermal therapy, is a fairly new option approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015.

What is Rezūm?

Rezūm therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that uses water vapor to treat symptoms of BPH in men. During the treatment, the physician inserts a handheld device via the urethra to reach the prostate.

The device generates thermal energy to produce water vapor. The use of radio waves during treatment is referred to as the transurethral needle ablation (TUNA) method. Instead of using radio waves to generate heat that is directly applied to tissues, however, the thermal energy is used to produce water vapor.

Treatment can also address median lobes. Though Rezūm has longer catheter times than UroLift, the procedure has a lower re-operation rate compared to UroLift.

The benefits of Rezūm include:

  • Potential alternative to BPH medications
  • Doesn’t require general anesthesia
  • Simple in-office/outpatient therapy
  • Allows patients to return to regular activities within a few days
  • Noticeable symptom improvement within two weeks

How is Rezūm Performed?

Rezūm therapy delivers small amounts of steam to the enlarged prostate in order to damage the excessive tissue. The water vapor damages cell structures in a way that reduces the size of the prostate. Patients don’t need general anesthesia, although numbing gel or a local anesthetic may be used around the urethra to maintain patient comfort.

Who is an Ideal Candidate?

The procedure is ideal for patients with a prostate weighing 30-80 grams and can treat patients with a median lobe.

Rezūm therapy is effective for men experiencing lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) secondary to an enlarged prostate. The ideal candidate shouldn’t have serious underlying conditions contributing to BPH symptoms.

To determine a patient’s eligibility for Rezūm therapy, the physician will evaluate the extent of a patient’s symptoms and the underlying cause of an enlarged prostate. A variety of blood, urine, and imaging or endoscopic tests will be done to evaluate the size of the prostate and rule out any other urinary system issues that may need to be addressed before therapy. The physician will also consider the size of the enlargement and its effect on the urination process and urethra.

The Recovery Process

After the procedure, patients are typically able to drive themselves home. Most patients are able to resume normal activities within a few days after Rezūm therapy. It’s possible for some patients to experience improvements in symptoms, such as frequent nighttime urination, within a few weeks. Patients will need to undergo follow-up evaluations to determine the effectiveness of treatment.

BPH symptoms that may improve after Rezūm therapy include:

  • Weak or fading urine streams
  • Incomplete voiding
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Straining during urination
  • Leakage during urination
  • Urge-based incontinence