Will you be undergoing CoreTherm treatment soon?
– More detailed information about the treatment process –
Before, during and after treatment
Every person with BPH is unique. The treatment is adjusted and tailored to suit you.
The description provided here is based on typical experiences from several clinical studies.
BEFORE THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE
ON THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE
PREPARATIONS FOR THE PROCEDURE
If you are taking any medication, ask your doctor whether you should take them before or in connection with the procedure.
Your doctor will decide which medication you should take before and after the treatment. If you are prescribed any medications, be sure to pick them up from your pharmacy before the day of procedure and take them as instructed.
Eat a light meal before going to the clinic. You should have been to the toilet and had a bowel movement before going to the clinic. Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. You will then be more comfortable since you will have a catheter when you leave the doctor’s office.
The procedure is carried out on a standard treatment table at the urology clinic. Make sure that you are lying comfortably. Your genital area and penis will be washed with a bactericidal solution. The urethral orifice and urethra are filled with local anaesthetic gel, and a soft penis clamp is used to press the urethra together for five minutes to keep the gel in place. The gel numbs and reduces discomfort during treatment.
The bladder is then completely emptied with the aid of an intermittent catheter prior to treatment. This catheter is used to administer an injection of local anaesthetic into the prostate. The urethra is then filled with additional anaesthetic gel before the treatment catheter is inserted, usually with little to no discomfort.
A safety thermometer is inserted into the rectum. A band, which also measures temperature, is gently attached around the root of the penis. These safety thermometers ensure that the rectum and urethra are not damaged during the procedure by emitting temperature warnings.
If you cannot tolerate “dentist anaesthesia”, it is important that you let the staff know this.
DURING the procedure
The treating doctor inserts a treatment catheter into your urethra. The catheter contains an antenna that heats up the prostate tissue, killing off the tissue when the temperature reaches about 50°C.
The procedure lasts between 6 and 15 minutes.
During the procedure, the staff monitor eight safety temperatures: three in the prostate, three in the rectum, one in the treatment catheter, and one around the root of the penis. All to ensure the treatment is safe and effective. There is normally some level of heat sensation during treatment. An urge to urinate normally develops towards the end of the procedure, usually when there remains about 2–4 minutes of treatment time. This urge may feel intense, but it is a “false alarm” as the bladder was emptied right before the treatment started. Tell the doctor or nurse immediately if the discomfort turns into pain. Extra, fast-acting painkillers can be administered if needed – but this is rarely needed.
The procedure is stopped automatically if any temperature (at the root of the penis or in the rectum) reaches pre-programmed safety levels. The staff will adjust the heat output and tailor the treatment to your needs.
Once the procedure is complete, the treatment catheter and the safety thermometers are removed. The treated prostate tissue normally becomes swollen for a few days as a result of the treatment. This will make it difficult to urinate for a short period of time after the procedure. Your doctor will therefore position a soft catheter routed to your bladder to drain the urine until the swelling goes down. You will need this catheter for about 3–4 weeks. You may need it longer if you used a catheter before treatment. The staff will instruct you in how the catheter works and how to take care of it.
AFTER the procedure
You can generally go home immediately after the procedure. Plan to stay home from work and take it easy for a few days. Avoid heavy lifting and excessive physical activity. It usually takes a few days for the urethra to get used to the urinary catheter. Some irritation and a burning sensation are normal, but usually goes away after a few days. Treatment of the prostate causes temporary tissue damage. The prostate swells up and needs time to heal. The swelling may cause a compelling urge to urinate and this may feel a bit uncomfortable, especially during the first day after treatment.
Your doctor may prescribe a number of medications that reduce your discomfort after the procedure, such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories or medications that suppress the urge to urinate. After the procedure, you may feel like you need to urinate frequently. This is normal and the feeling will gradually disappear. Be sure to practice good genital hygiene after treatment.
It is a good idea to drink a lot of fluids since large amounts of urine and a large flow through the catheter will reduce the number of bacterias that can cause infection. There may be visible blood in your urine during the first few days after treatment. This is completely normal, harmless and will go away over time. Most patients experience a significant improvement within one to three months.
When it is time to have the catheter removed, this is done at the clinic or at your primary care centre. Your doctor will decide just how long you need a catheter after the treatment based on factors such as whether you had a catheter previously and the pre-treatment size of your prostate. Normally, you will not notice an immediate improvement when the catheter is removed.
The huge improvement will come gradually over the course of the subsequent weeks and months. Most patients experience a significant improvement within one to three months. Most often, you will feel improvement week by week over the first three months, so be prepared to look forward to a gradual improvement to your quality of life.
CoreTherm is a safe and effective treatment. However, as with any medical procedure, complications and side effects may arise in rare cases.
Contact your doctor/nurse if you experience any of the following:
Inexplicably high fever or chills – this could be a sign of infection
Blockage in the catheter
Severe pain – no matter when it comes