Over the past decade, TherMatrx microwave thermotherapy equipment has been steadily improved until now it is the most popular microwave thermotherapy used for the treatment of symptomatic benign prostate enlargement in the United States.
In the past it was necessary to continue the actual period of microwave treatment for 40 minutes. That has now been reduced to 30 minutes. In the past, it was necessary to send each patient home wearing an uncomfortable Foley catheter and plastic leg bag to drain the urine sometimes for up to a week. Now, almost all patients are sent home after treatment without having to wear a catheter or leg bag.
The less the patient needs to wear a catheter, the less is the chance for infection, the less is the need to tolerate the discomfort attendant to wearing a catheter and the less is the chance for bleeding caused by the internal irritation and rubbing of the catheter on the interior surface of the prostate. Anesthesia is not required or even indicated for this procedure, which is done in the office rather than in the hospital. Lidocaine jelly, a topical intra-urethral anesthetic, together with a combination of a low dose oral analgesic and a short-acting tranquilizer keeps the patient comfortable during the half hour treatment and still permits him to go home shortly thereafter urinating on his own.
Patients, who are unable to undergo the risk of prostate surgery, whether open surgery, TURP, TUMT or LASER may easily tolerate microwave treatment. Even patients taking blood thinners, whose cardiologists or internists have advised them that they must not stop their anticoagulants, can often be treated with microwave thermotherapy without interruption of their anticoagulation.
Usually, the details of exactly how the anticoagulation should be handled can be worked out cooperatively between all the patient’s doctors. As a result of improvements in microwave thermotherapy treatment, in many cases, the ability of the patient to engage in sexual activity is enhanced. Retrograde ejaculation, commonly known as “Shooting Blanks” that so often occurs following each of the various types of prostate surgery listed above, does not occur with TherMatrx microwave thermotherapy.
Finally, microwave thermotherapy has been found useful to treat not only symptomatic benign prostate enlargement but chronic nonbacterial prostatitis, prostatodynia and painful pelvic syndrome as well with or without the presence of prostate calculi. This is especially important for cases, which have not responded to any other treatment.
Research is ongoing in the use of microwave thermotherapy and HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) to treat many other conditions as well. Looking over the world-wide scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years and recognizing that this progress has been developing at an increasing rate of speed, we are lucky indeed to be able to see these wonders evolve. Just imagine what the next 100 years will bring.
Have a question? Call Dr. Okun at 718-241-6767