Australian first prostate surgery was performed at Sydney Adventist Hospital yesterday.
The groundbreaking operation is designed to help the more than 50 per cent of men, aged 50 and over, who have enlarged prostates. The condition causes a number of issues, including sleep disturbance and the frequent need to urinate. It can be painful and debilitating, affecting the lifestyles of otherwise active men.
San urologist Professor Henry Woo trained overseas for the Rezum procedure, which involves delivering steam vapour directly to the prostate, using thermal energy to kill the enlarged prostate tissue.
“The water vapour literally cooks the prostate which then shrinks—as it does, the urethra is opened and men can pass urine more freely,” Professor Woo said.
The day only procedure, from which patients recover within 48 hours, has minimal side effects in comparison to treatments like medication and conventional surgery, which can result in sexual dysfunction in 70-80 per cent of cases.
“To have a minimally invasive surgical treatment that preserves all aspects of sexual function is a game-changing type of treatment,” Professor Woo said.
“I think it is very exciting that we are seeing this technology finally make its way to Australia.”
In the past men have chosen to forgo treatment and put up with their symptoms.
“Men are after a procedure that will allow them a rapid recovery and also something that will have a negligible impact on their quality of life,” Professor Woo explained.
Property developer Andrew Denton is booked in for his procedure in April and says the new procedure is definitely a game-changer for him.
“In the last 12 months the symptoms of my enlarged prostate have worsened,” the 52-year-old father of three said. “It’s made me feel older than I am.
“It’s been a real nuisance having to get up several times a night, to have to go to the bathroom often and made international flights for business particularly uncomfortable.
“What put me off getting treatment previously was the 70-80 per cent possibility that I would end up with some type of dysfunction.
“The fact that I should get relief within a few weeks, without side effects and that I’ll be back driving and at work the next day, is terrific.”