Revolutionary prostate procedure performed in SA

10 November 2021 | Health

A revolutionary procedure to relieve male urinary problems that was successfully performed for the first time in South Africa by a team from Stellenbosch University (SU) and the Tygerberg Academic Hospital last week, offers hope to the large percentage of men older than 40 who suffer from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
The procedure was performed on 4 November by Prof André van der Merwe, Head of the Division of Urology at SU's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS) and renowned as the surgeon who performed the world’s first successful penis transplant in 2014, and Dr Pieter Spies, also from the Division of Urology, on five patients at Tygerberg Hospital.
This non-surgical procedure, which takes less than 10 minutes and has no sexual side-effects, offers hope to many men who experience problems due to an enlarged prostate, such as slowness of the urinary stream, difficulty starting to urinate, frequent urination, needing to get up at night to urinate or pain after ejaculation or while urinating. More than half of men aged 70 and older experience these symptoms.
Until now the only available treatment for SA patients not responding to BPH medication was surgery, with up to 40% of patients with symptomatic BPH requiring surgery.
The most common surgery performed for BPH is transurethral resection of prostate (TURP) and laser enucleation/resection of the prostate. It is performed under spinal or general anaesthesia and usually requires the patient to remain in hospital for two to three days.
Waiting time for this procedure in public hospitals is up to three years (there are 320 patients on Tygerberg’s TURP waiting list), mainly due to a shortage of hospital beds and constraints on theatre time.
TURP surgery also has some side effects, including retrograde ejaculation, bleeding and even erectile dysfunction in a minority of cases.
The procedure performed by Van der Merwe and his team is known as Rezūm water vapour therapy. It uses the natural energy stored in water vapour, or steam, to remove excess prostate tissue that is pressing on the urethra.
It is the first non-surgical treatment option for BPH patients whose medical treatment has failed or who don’t want to be on medication for life. It has been used in Europe and the USA with great success over the past five years.
What makes this treatment so revolutionary is that it takes ten minutes or less and can be done in the outpatient setting. This allowed the SU team to perform the first five procedures at Tygerberg’s urology day-theatre complex last week.

Positive experience
Spies describes the experience as extremely positive, proving that it can be performed successfully in a resource-constrained environment in a day theatre-setting.
“The longest procedure took ten minutes. We used general anaesthesia just to be safe, but from now on we will use conscious sedation. We also kept the patients overnight to be on the conservative side, but from now on they will be discharged on the same day.”
Spies says it took Van der Merwe and himself a few years to convince Boston Scientific, the company responsible for the technology internationally, to bring the product to South Africa and to get it registered with the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. The two of them, as well as five specialists from the private sector, were trained by Boston Scientific and received their accreditation. The second set of procedures will be performed by private specialists on 17 November.
“We regard it as the answer to our enormous waiting list problem. We could help five patients within the space of two hours, compared to the hour and a half per patient required for surgery. It will especially be beneficial for older people who cannot undergo surgery, patients who are dependent on medication and older people with catheters. We can free them from catheters without the risk of anaesthesia and surgery,” Spies said.
Van der Merwe says trained surgeons will be able to perform the procedure with ease. The only concern is the cost-effectivity of the product.Boston Scientific sponsored the first five very costly procedures.
“A cost analysis of last week’s procedures will give us a good idea of how this can really work in public hospitals. Although the procedure makes a lot of financial sense, cutting on costs such as the regular replacement of catheters, visits to specialists or day hospitals and the use of antibiotics, it also has to fit into Tygerberg Hospital’s budget. The price will determine whether we will be able to buy it.”

Similar News


CAN clinics resume

1 week ago - 10 January 2022 | Health

The Cancer Association of Namibia resume operations on Monday and their National Outreach Programme for the year starts with a local community clinic in Windhoek...

e-Health to assist system

1 month - 06 December 2021 | Health

The health ministry on Friday launched the national e-Health strategy aimed at enhancing healthcare delivery in Namibia and promoting universal healthcare through Information and Communication...

Vaccination of children allowed

2 months ago - 16 November 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected]“The responsibility has now shifted from government to the public,” health minister Kalumbi Shangula said in the capital on Friday, while announcing the...

Consultants to reform Psemas

2 months ago - 08 November 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected] finance ministry has decided to take a holistic approach to the various obstacles that plague the state's medical aid, Psemas.Part of this...

Health ministry embroiled in multi-million dollar mask dispute

2 months ago - 05 November 2021 | Health

Windhoek • [email protected]’s health ministry has accused a local company of breaching a multi-million dollar contract by supplying KN95 face masks instead of N95 face...

Creating hope for HIV positive families

2 months ago - 29 October 2021 | Health

Ndahafa is one of approximately 8 000 Namibian children living with HIV. She was diagnosed at the age of four and has been taking antiretroviral...

Radiography students reach out

2 months ago - 29 October 2021 | Health

Windhoek • Margareth-Rose KangootuiEvery year in October, students from the School of Allied Health organise awareness activities to educate the public about breast cancer. This...

More Pfizer BioNTech arrives

2 months ago - 27 October 2021 | Health

The United States government donated 124 000 doses of the Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to Namibia. The vaccines arrived last Friday, following the first consignment...

Masks, gowns for Health

2 months ago - 26 October 2021 | Health

When the third Covid wave hit Namibia, the request for assistance was also heard by Support Ulm e.V. in Germany, and Prof. Dr. Heinz Maier,...

ICU beds donated to Health

3 months ago - 20 October 2021 | Health

The US government donated 70 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds worth more than N$700 000 to the health ministry, that will distribute it to eight...

Latest News

Chill with Windhoek Express

20 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

Recurring events• 07:00 Bio-Markt / Green Market at the Stephanus Church (Dr Kenneth Kaunda Street) in Windhoek until 12:00 every Saturday.• 16:00 Coffee and Cake...

Festival of classics at COTA

21 hours ago | Art and Entertainment

One of Namibia’s most gifted pianists, Johann van der Merwe, hosts a performance tomorrow (22 January) to raise money to support the Cancer Association of...

Raging river sweeps cars away

21 hours ago | Weather

Windhoek • [email protected] Elisenheim River swept motor vehicles away late on Wednesday night when a flash flood sped past the Farmers Kitchen restaurant at the...

La Niña still on a...

21 hours ago | Weather

Grootfontein • [email protected] the met office issued a warming for today for widespread thunderstorms over the western half of the interior, a meteorologist believes the...

Onreëlmatighede vertraag die aanstelling van...

22 hours ago | Local News

Windhoek • [email protected] hoofstad se burgemeester, Sade Gawanas, sê daar is beweerde onreëlmatighede met betrekking tot die werwing van Stad Windhoek se uitvoerende hoof wat...

Judges dismiss same-sex marriage

1 day - 20 January 2022 | Local News

Jana-Mari SmithThree Windhoek High Court judges have dismissed the application by two Namibians and their foreign born spouses to have their marriages recognised in Namibia,...

Vyf damme kry water

1 day - 20 January 2022 | Environment

Elvira HattinghTeen gistermiddag om 14:50 het die Hardapdam nog sowat 289,3 m³ water per sekonde ingekry, terwyl nog drie ander nasionale damme sedert Maandag ‘n...

Am Weinberg joins Gondwana Collection

1 day - 20 January 2022 | Business

Come 1 February and the Am Weinberg Hotel will join the Gondwana portfolio in a management capacity. According to CEO Gys Joubert of Gondwana Collection...

Cycle lanes progressing well

2 days ago - 19 January 2022 | Infrastructure

The City of Windhoek in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ Namibia) continue working towards sustainable mobility in the city.Together, the parties...

Load More