J. Randolf Beahrs, MD
Minnesota Urology (now retired)
Rezūm™ Water Vapor Therapy for BPH: A Physician’s Experience as a Surgeon and Patient
Now, more than ever before, patients are avoiding hospital-based procedures, even if it means living longer with their discomfort or further impacting their quality of life. And for good reason. They fear the threat posed by COVID-19 and they want to avoid putting themselves at risk.
However, in-office procedures can often be conducted to avoid the hospital. In fact, office-based procedures such as Rezūm Water Vapor Therapy have potential benefits for both your patients and your practice. I’ve been treating patients with BPH symptoms for more than 20 years, and for patients who qualify, Rezūm Therapy can be done in a single in-office visit, avoiding a hospital stay and general anesthesia.1
Practices to Enhance Patient Experience
As physicians, our number one priority is to treat patients as safely and effectively as possible. Most of us also seek ways in which we can enhance the overall experience for our patients. I’ve found that I can really improve the patient experience with Rezūm Therapy by following these few practices.
Communication is key
Patients immediately forget 40-80% of medical information provided by healthcare practitioners. 2 Furthermore, almost half of the information that is remembered is incorrect.2 Therefore, it’s important to repeat critical information to our patients. Between my office staff and me, we make sure to set expectations with the patient. We let them know they will go home with a catheter to make them more comfortable during the healing process. Additionally, we let them know about the possibility, of potential side effects such as some blood in their urine or that they may have dysuria during the first 7-10 days. After this most patients start to see symptom improvement. When patients know what to expect we limit the amount of follow-up calls after the procedure.
Office staff is knowledgeable and approachable
I had a very good nurse who was extremely knowledgeable and personable with my patients. In fact, often when patients would call to ask questions, they would ask to speak with her instead of me. This meant that my patients felt so confident in the care they were receiving from her; they didn’t even need me.
Pain management builds confidence
With more and more in-office procedures being conducted, good pain control is important. Your patients will appreciate it and you’ll appreciate being able to do your procedure without the patient flinching or moving.
For Rezūm Therapy procedures, I practice the Modified Periprostatic Block, otherwise known as the “Beahrs’ block” (see video for more information). I’ve had tremendous experience with this, and my patients experience very minimal pain. I believe so much in the practice that I sought out a physician to perform the “Beahrs block” on me when I had Rezūm Therapy.
There are also a few things you can do to help the patient manage their discomfort at home. First, I always advise my patients to avoid caffeine and alcohol for a few days. I also send them home with a personal pad for any urine leakage, so they are prepared. Furthermore, I instruct them that sitting in a hot bath can help with urgency.
My Experience with Rezūm Therapy as a Patient
After 20 years of helping my patients manage BPH symptoms, the time came to address my own progressive issue with BPH. The medications I tried had too many side effects and I was ready for the next step. I chose Rezūm Therapy over other therapies because I saw how successful it was in my own patients. In fact, in my practice, very few of my patients were not satisfied or needed additional therapy to resolve their BPH symptoms.
I sought out a physician who would perform the “Beahrs block” as I knew how helpful that would be for me as the patient as well as the physician performing the procedure. Therefore, I didn’t feel much during the Rezūm Therapy and, overall, the entire procedure took about 30 minutes. My catheter was placed for 24 hours and I avoided caffeine and alcohol as instructed. I noticed improvement within a week but continued to wear a pad for a month, just as a precaution. And most important, I began to sleep through the night!
Overall, the procedure was quick, relatively pain free and resolved my BPH symptoms.
Rezūm Therapy is an efficient and durable office-based treatment for BPH.3 After many years of performing it on my patients, I chose to have the procedure performed on me. And my overall experience has taught me that with a few simple steps, physicians and their staff can optimize the patient experience.
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Indications, safety and warnings