NNUH offers robotic treatment for enlarged prostates

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s (NNUH) urology team is said to be the first in the east of England and the fourth NHS hospital nationwide to offer a new, less invasive robotic treatment to men with enlarged prostates.

NNUH urologists join their counterparts at Guy’s and St Thomas’, Royal Berkshire and Hampshire Hospitals NHS foundation trusts in providing Aquablation to men with enlarged prostates who meet the criteria.

Aquablation is a robotic procedure that uses a high pressure saline solution to remove tissue from an enlarged prostate. It has been shown in multiple trials to have fewer side effects than the more common transurethral resection of the prostate procedure that involves cutting away the section of the prostate using heat. It has been shown to reduce operating time and bed stay. It can also be up to 45 per cent faster to provide the procedure (30-40 minutes compared with 70-80 minutes), with some patients going home on the same day or staying one night.

The team, led by consultant surgeon and service director for urology Mr Mark Rochester and urology consultant surgeon Mr Utsav Reddy, have been instrumental in bringing the service to the hospital and have been operating on patients using this technology since April.

Mr Reddy said: “We are using ultrasound-guided robotic technology to remove the unwanted tissue. It is using robotic technology to do something we have been doing manually for years. So far around 20,000 of these robotic procedures have been carried out worldwide. It is early days. Patients are telling us they are pleased with the outcomes and we are gathering data on this.”

Martin Hayes from Long Stratton was one of the first patients to have the Aquablation procedure. He had a narrowing of the urethra that caused repeated infections. An MRI showed he had a prostate three times its original size. After months self-catheterising and enduring infections, he was told he was eligible for the procedure. “Mr Reddy put me at my ease, told me what to expect and he has given me life back. You don’t realise but this creeps up on you and then it’s just how you have to live your life,” he said. “I was getting up five or six times in the night. Now it is only a couple of times. I was having broken sleep; I had no energy and now I have noticed a real difference – the whole family has.”

Picture: Martin Hayes

Published on page 14 of the September 2023 issue of RAD Magazine.

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