Although it’s been a long time coming, we now have surgery for enlarged prostates with faster treatment and quicker recovery time.
It’s done with a robotic-controlled waterjet, takes all of 40 minutes, can be done as a day case and preserves sexual function, erection and ejaculation with no incontinence.
This is wonderful news for the 400,000 patients currently on NHS waiting lists.
The new prostate op is called Aquablation and has been extensively studied and used by surgeons in many hundreds of patients across the UK for more than seven years.
After reviewing the experience on 425 patients over five years, NICE recommends Aquablation should become Standard of Care.
The process is a minimally invasive robotic therapy for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), and the first robotic procedure to be green-lit where each patient’s unique anatomy is observed and preserved.
More men will be treated and have shorter recovery times, thereby shortening waiting lists.
The results are impressive: 99.5% continence preservation, 100% erectile function preservation, 91.2% ejaculatory function preservation.
For men suffering with BPH, life can become miserable, with urinary flow just a dribble, feeling a constant urge to go, frequent trips to the loo, disturbed nights and having to wear incontinence pads.
They lose their self-confidence at work, when they’re socialising – and also in the bedroom.
Most men will be offered one or more courses of tablets initially, to open the urethra, however for more than 30,000 men a year surgery is required to provide relief.
Mr Neil Barber, Lead for Urology at Frimley Park Hospital, Surrey, stated: “We have been treating men successfully with Aquablation for over seven years now with many hundreds of patients benefiting from this surgery both in and out of global and European trials.
“Patients and their partners want effective treatment with minimal disruption and discomfort. They want their work, leisure and sex lives back and not to risk long-term catheterisation or loss of sexual function.
“Aquablation will also help tackle the NHS backlog, where patients typically have to wait 12-18 months for treatment.”
The NHS is beginning to roll out Aquablation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ in London, plus other centres.
Experts state the technology has the potential to replace current standard care because of its efficacy and potential to be used with nearly all sizes of prostate.