For men who have been diagnosed with Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), their whole quality of life is diminished. But for one sufferer, Greg Bishop from Gloucester, relief was found thanks to Aquablation therapy, which has transformed his life.

For 57-year-old Greg, from Hucclecote in Gloucester, a simple trip out, whether to watch his beloved Gloucester RFC, do the weekly shop or catching up with friends and family, was cause for a great deal of anxiety and stress. Venturing from beyond the safety of his own home needed precision planning.

“I would have to plan a trip into town around toilet breaks,” said Greg, “and I was constantly thinking ‘right OK, I either know where and when I can go or else I don't have a coffee’.

“I was always planning ahead.”

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is the medical term to describe an enlarged prostate, a condition that can affect how you pee.

If the prostate becomes enlarged, it can place pressure on the bladder and the urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through. This can cause difficulty starting to pee, a frequent need to pee and difficulty fully emptying your bladder.

BPH is common in men aged over 50. It's not a cancer and the risk of prostate cancer is no greater for men with an enlarged prostate than it is for men without an enlarged prostate.

Things came to a head during a day out cheering on Gloucester RFC. He had a few beers before and during the game, so his bladder was pretty full, but he couldn’t pass any urine. The situation became quite frightening, and he ended up in A&E.

“As my prostate was getting bigger, I was struggling passing urine,” said Greg. “I would stop drinking at 5 pm otherwise I would be up and down like a yo-yo all night.”

Greg’s wife told him about a treatment called Aquablation therapy which looked like a promising solution. As Greg’s prostate grew larger his condition deteriorated even more. A GP referral to urologist Jeremy Nettleton marked a turning point. Not only was Mr Nettleton able to tell Greg that Aquablation therapy was available at the Winfield Hospital in Gloucester, but also that he was ripe for the innovative treatment.

Aquablation therapy can be performed on prostates of any size and shape. It is a resective procedure, meaning that the prostate tissue causing symptoms is removed. No incision is made, as the prostate is reached through the urethra. It is the only procedure that uses a heat-free waterjet controlled by robotic technology to remove prostate tissue.

Following a scan Greg decided the time had come and he wanted this dealt with once and for all.

Greg is fortunate to have health insurance through his work, and this meant that he was able to get the ball rolling very quickly. Within a few days, Greg was undergoing Aquablation therapy at Ramsay Winfield Hospital.

Following the operation Greg said: “I was a little bit tender, but nothing more than you would expect really. I was pretty much up and running within a few days.”

Just three weeks post-treatment, and much to his delight, the once-dreaded toilet planning was a thing of the past and Greg was enjoying his new-found liberation: “I feel very different in terms of the flow, the flow is improved tenfold I can just go to the toilet and empty my bladder and not worry.

“I know at least one other person who I see socially who will probably need treatment at some point and I will definitely be telling him to have Aquablation therapy.”

Mr Jeremy Nettleton is Urology Lead at Gloucestershire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and practices at Winfield Hospital, added: “I am delighted that Greg has had a fantastic outcome from his recent surgery. Aquablation therapy is a great option for most men with an enlarged prostate and is particularly beneficial where men are concerned with regard to side effects.”

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