Two Colorado men experience what life was like before BPH – and Rezūm therapy
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is an enlarged prostate and just about everyone knows that to have it means urinating a frustratingly small amount – and then needing to urinate again, and again, and again.
“A traffic jam on the interstate was a nightmare,” says 65-year-old Clarke Omdahle of Littleton, Colorado. “In short, I always planned my daily activities with the closest bathroom in mind.”
This was difficult for Clarke. After his morning coffee and using the bathroom before leaving work, he would still have to stop and find a bathroom after several miles on his way to work.
BPH symptoms weren’t very nice to 70-year-old Ken Whiteacre either, also of Littleton. “I would get up, mostly in the middle of the night – about 4 to 5 times – to go the bathroom,” says Ken. “It was often very hard to get back to sleep after that.”
Ken and Clarke faced the same scenario: If they didn’t get to a bathroom immediately, it was often too late. “I wore dark colored pants and pads as safeguards after a multitude of accidents,” Ken confides.
Not fun but not unusual. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the most common diagnosis made by urologists for men between the ages of 45 and 75. BPH is the most common health issue of the prostate. It is not linked to prostate cancer and does not cause problems in all men who have it. But for those who do, it can be tough.
After visiting Dr. Barrett Cowan at Urology Associates, Clarke discovered that although his prostate was enlarged and his PSA was 8.0, which was high, he did not have prostate cancer. That was good news.
Traditional options for managing BPH symptoms include medication, surgery, lifestyle changes and active surveillance. Although these are still viable methods for treating the condition, both Ken and Clarke were looking for new and innovative alternatives. Luckily, they were both patients of Dr. Cowan.
Their Rezūm experience
Ken and Clarke were both looking for an option that wouldn’t require them to have surgery or take medication for the rest of their lives. They were both healthy men who led active lives and wanted to address the issues that BPH was causing them, head on.
Dr. Cowan determined that both men were good candidates for a new treatment procedure for BPH called Rezūm. Urology Associates was the first practice in Colorado to offer Rezūm, which uses stored energy that naturally occurs in water vapor to shrink prostate tissue in men with BPH.
In Rezūm therapy the physician inserts a small device through the man’s urethra that delivers water vapor directly into the prostate tissue that has been enlarged by BPH. The water vapor then kills the enlarged cells and the reduction in tissue relieves most of the bothersome symptoms.
As one of the lead investigators on the clinical trials of Rezūm, Dr. Cowan was very familiar with the procedure. And Clarke became the first person in the state to undergo the Rezūm procedure.
“As usual, the fear of the unknown (and the fact that a bunch of people were messing with my junk) made me pretty apprehensive,” says Clarke. “After the prep work, the actual procedure only took five minutes and it didn’t hurt.”
And it worked. According to Clarke, “I no longer have that nagging urge to find the closest bathroom at all times. The urine flow is stronger and I feel I am completely emptying my bladder.”
Ken also experienced great results after having the Rezūm treatment done.
“I’m down to getting up only about once a night, which is pretty standard for most men my age,” he says. “I feel like I’m pretty lucky compared to other men my age who have to take all kinds of medication for similar issues.”
Today Ken rides his bike, volunteers and does all of the things he enjoys with no problems. “The procedure is very quick and the staff and Dr. Cowan made it very simple and painless,” says Ken. “I was very happy with the Rezūm procedure.”
Clarke recalls his experience working with the Urology Associates staff and doctors to be very professional, supportive and understanding of the challenges he faced.
“I will always remember what Dr. Cowan said to me as I went through testing, procedure and recovery,” said Clarke. “He said, ‘You may hate me now, but you’ll thank me later,’ and to that I say thank you, Dr. Cowan – you were true to your word.”