My Aquablation Therapy Experience

June 5, 2023
On October 8, 2021, I had Aquablation therapy, to address my benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) symptoms which included the need to urinate frequently (and sometimes urgently). My BPH symptoms along with the lack of effective medical therapeutics led to an increasing loss in the quality of my life due to needing to use the bathroom multiple times during the day and at being awoken at night with the need to urinate. The results of my Aquablation therapy procedure were phenomenal and life changing! It is now more than one-year post-surgery and both my urination urgency and frequency have improved to the point where my BPH symptoms are quite manageable and I feel that my quality of life (e.g., lifestyle and/or activities) are no longer significantly impacted. I wish I could have had my Aquablation therapy procedure sooner; I thought it would be helpful to share my experience with other men who may be suffering with similar symptoms. I am also writing this for family and friends of men with BPH who might be in a position to share my positive Aquablation experience with them. The Aquablation therapy procedure itself (and the recovery) wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had thought it would be. Why was this? I had done lots of on-line research about the various medicinal and surgical BPH treatments. As a trained Bio-Engineer, I was able to have in-depth conversations with multiple doctors and patients about different treatment modalities, their results, side effects, complications, and recoveries. I read papers about patient outcomes in the medical literature, patient testimonials, and postings in on-line forums. I had been seeing a urologist, Dr. Simon Kimm at PAMF, since January of 2020 and tried multiple medications to address my urination urgency and frequency symptoms. The many surgical options seemed daunting and the heavier-duty medicinal approaches seemed fraught with the potential for serious side effects. On top of that, Dr. Kimm warned me that the longer I waited there was more potential for damage to my bladder as it struggled to pass urine through the obstruction in my urethra caused by my enlarged prostate. The turning point for me came when Dr. Kimm told me that I was a candidate for a revolutionary new surgical procedure called Aquablation therapy which uses a heat-free water jet to remove obstructing prostate tissue. He told me that he had performed several Aquablation therapy procedures in the past few months and that his patients were very happy with their results. Patient data from clinical studies was available showing that the recovery from Aquablation therapy was as quick or quicker than conventional prostate surgical treatments that also removed obstructing tissue with less side effects, particularly without loss of sexual function. As described below, my personal preference was for a procedure that removed the obstructing tissue since I believed it would provide me with the most profound and long-lasting results. Like many men with BPH symptoms, I tried prostate supplements and prescription medicines targeted at increasing urine flow. There were more powerful medications available but the reported side effects could be severe, sometimes permanent, and the success rate seemed too low to me to be worth the risk. I looked into various tissue removing surgical alternatives such as (TURP, HoLEP, etc.), but most had relatively long recoveries and risked a loss of sexual function. Less invasive alternatives are also available (e.g., Rezum™, Urolift™, etc.) but with lowered expectations for significant and long-lasting improvement. In short, none of the available options seemed to provide the prospect of excellent results with low rates of undesirable side effects and short recovery. The result was that I decided not to take the strong medications and I put off having surgery. Learning about Aquablation therapy changed all of that! Once I understood how Aquablation therapy’s precise water jet technology could remove only the obstructive tissue while sparing the areas associated with sexual function. And with its relatively quick recovery, it became obvious that Aquablation therapy was the best option for me. The timing associated with having my Aquablation therapy procedure was a big decision for me, and it may also be a factor for others. The decision came down to the impact that having Aquablation therapy, and the subsequent recovery would have on my work life and ability to resume normal activities afterward. I decided to have the surgery sooner than later to avoid incurring more damage to my bladder. Reading Aquablation therapy testimonials and watching videos on the Procept BioRobotics website and You Tube were most helpful. Several patients reported that they were able to resume work in few days. It was less clear how long it would take me to resume my activities since my activities include vigorous exercise, outdoor activities, and airplane travel. Here is a quick summary of my Aquablation therapy experience. My surgery was on a Friday. I stayed one night in the hospital and went home on Saturday. I had no trouble getting around the house, using the bathroom or taking short walks outside. I took it easy and followed my doctors’ guidelines. I was able to use my computer immediately and began working from home on the Monday after my surgery. This happened during the work-from-home period during the COVID-19 pandemic so it did not create a problem with my work. However, I believe I could have gone to work if needed after a few days, although working at home was very comfortable and a perfect option for me. The biggest issue after surgery is a frequent need to urinate (every hour or two) for the first few days to a week or so. Each day I felt stronger and (following my doctor’s guidelines) was able to resume my normal physical activities after four weeks. Overall, my recovery was much quicker than I thought it would be, though I have had some minor complications that related to my own unique urinary anatomy that others may not experience. The complications I did experience were a small price to pay considering the life changing benefits I have received. In terms of future expectations, I was told that my prostate would continue to grow but my surgery could continue to provide benefits for ten or more years. I was also told that I could have the procedure again if needed. In summary, I am very happy that I decided to have Aquablation therapy. The recovery and subsequent results as of one year-post surgery have met or exceeded my expectations. I encourage other men with troubling BPH symptoms to discuss Aquablation therapy with their urologists to see if they are candidates for this innovative and effective BPH treatment option. Individual results may vary. There are risks associated with any surgical procedure. Talk with your doctor about these risks and to find out if Aquablation therapy is right for you.

All surgical treatments have inherent and associated side effects. Individual’s outcomes may depend on a number of factors, including but not limited to patient characteristics, disease characteristics and/or surgeon experience. The most common side effects are mild and transient and may include mild pain or difficulty when urinating, discomfort in the pelvis, blood in the urine, inability to empty the bladder or a frequent and/or urgent need to urinate, and bladder or urinary tract infection. Other risks include ejaculatory dysfunction and a low risk of injury to the urethra or rectum where the devices gain access to the body for treatment. Further, there may be other risks as in other urological surgery, such as anesthesia risk or the risk of infection, including the potential transmission of blood borne pathogens. For more information about potential side effects and risks associated with Aquablation therapy for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) treatment, speak with your urologist or surgeon. Prior to using our products, please review the Instructions for Use, Operator’s Manual or User Manual, as applicable, and any accompanying documentation for a complete listing of indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions and potential adverse events. No claim is made that the AquaBeam Robotic System will cure any medical condition, or entirely eliminate the diseased entity. Repeated treatment or alternative therapies may sometimes be required.

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