4 minutes Morag Idan

Statement by Prostate Scotland on New Water Vapour Treatment for Enlarged Prostates

The approval this week by NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) of a water vapour thermal ablation treatment system for men with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) enlarged prostates to be potentially available alongside other treatments for this condition is a helpful addition to the range of treatments for the effects of BPH.

The enlargement of the prostate is a very common condition in men over middle age – with around 43%[i] of men over middle age having an enlarged prostate known as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).  As the prostate gets larger it can squeeze the urethra -the tube that allows urine to pass from the bladder. It can cause symptoms of having to get to the toilet fast, to make the passing of urine difficult, or lead to men needing to get up frequently at night to pass urine.  This can impact adversely on the daily life of a man.

There are a number of treatments for BPH, including medication, and in some instances surgery. The range of surgical treatments in this field (to make it easier for a man pass urine) have been developing so that in addition to the most common surgical treatment called TURP (Trans Urethral Resection of the prostate) there have also been newer less invasive treatments becoming available in parts of Scotland such as laser treatment to trim off or vapourise prostate tissue blocking the flow of urine, prostate artery embolization, as well as the recent introduction of the ‘Urolift’ procedure. These newer treatments have been associated in many cases with lesser side effects. It should be noted however that not all treatments are suitable for every patient and water vapour thermal ablation is not suitable for men with larger prostates.

Notes to editors:
1. For further information please contact Adam Gaines or Morag Idan on 0131 603 8660 or info@prostatescotland.org.uk
2. The prostate is a small male gland inside the pelvis, just below the bladder, usually the size of a walnut, which is part of men’s reproductive process.

3.  Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH or BPE) is a normal part of the ageing process that can affect men by the prostate enlarging. This is brought about by the cells in the prostate dividing more quickly causing the prostate tissue to grow or enlarge. This can lead to symptoms like needing to pass urine more frequently, difficulty with emptying of the bladder, and weak stream. BPH can cause discomfort in many men. A small amount of prostate enlargement is present in many men over the age of 40 and particularly affects men over the age of 50. Nearly half (43%) of men over the age of 65 have either some urinary symptoms or a reduced urinary flow due to BPH. As many as 9 out of 10 men in their seventies and eighties have some symptoms of BPH.
4. Prostate Scotland was set up in 2006 as a Scottish charity to develop awareness of prostate disease, to support men and their families/ partners with the disease through providing advice and information and to advance treatment and research into prostate disease. Its aim is to reach out across Scotland to create greater awareness amongst men and their families/partners about prostate disease and to advance treatment. It has established an award winning website www.prostatescotland.org.uk providing a wide range of information about prostate disease and treatments, as well as providing information and advice about prostate disease to men and their families across Scotland. In 2010 the charity won a national award for its impact on community health and in 2013 and 2015 was commended in the British Medical Association Patient information Awards, and in 2017 was awarded Scottish health charity of the year. Prostate Scotland is a registered Scottish charity No.SC037494

[i] WM Garraway et al High Prevalence of benign prostatic hypertrophy in the community – The Lancet 1991, 338, 469-471,  also Kirby – The Prostate – small gland big problem 2002