Aquablation is helping Temple Health solve enlarged prostates with less side effects

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Monday, August 7, 2023
Solving enlarged prostates with less bladder control or sexual risks
Temple Health is utilizing a fresh option for treating enlarged prostates, using water for long-lasting relief, without long-term side effects.

MAPLE GLEN, Pa. (WPVI) -- An enlarged prostate is a very common problem for men, seriously affecting their quality of life.

A fresh option uses the power of water for long-lasting relief, without long-term side effects.

"I was a military pilot flying Hueys for 26 years," says Bob Nelson of Maple Glen, Pa.

In Vietnam and beyond, Nelson was in plenty of tough spots.

"They sent us into some bad neighborhoods," he says of his yearlong tour in Vietnam, which included the Tet Offensive.

Despite those lessons in grace under fire, he was still shaken when years of nagging prostate problems became a crisis.

"One morning I could not urinate. So I ended up getting catheterized in an ER," he recalls, adding, "The scary thing is that it had grown into the bladder."

The prostate gland surrounds the tube leading from the bladder.

An enlarged gland makes bathroom time difficult.

But many treatment procedures can affect bladder control, sexual function or both.

Nelson's research led him to Dr. Steve Sterious of the Fox Chase-Temple Urologic Institute and Aquablation.

Aquablation is an FDA-approved, minimally-invasive technique.

Dr. Sterious says real-time ultrasound mapping and a robotic high-powered water jet are more precise in removing excess tissue.

"Each patient gets a different plan based on what their prostate looks like. And then the water jet will go and kind of destroy that tissue," says Dr. Sterious.

"Treatment for the prostate really depends on how big it is," he says. You can do Aquablation on pretty much any size prostate."

Dr. Sterious says Aquablation has much lower rates of bladder control and sexual dysfunction compared to other techniques he's used.

But before choosing treatment, he says men should consider their goals.

With no treatment, symptoms could worsen.

Are they willing to take medication for life?

What side effects can they tolerate?

If symptoms return, are they willing to have a second procedure?

Bob spent one night in the hospital and within four to six weeks was better than he'd been in years.

"There was absolutely no pain before or after. And today everything works as it should," Nelson says.