Department of Urology, UMC St Radboud, 6500 HB Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Purpose Of Review: From all the available thermoablative methods for the treatment of symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia, transurethral microwave thermotherapy is considered as standard in minimally invasive management. The literature is enriched by several new studies on transurethral microwave thermotherapy, and thus this review presents up-to-date information about thermotherapy.
Recent Findings: New studies have provided significant information regarding differences in outcome for devices with different protocols and selection criteria, confirming the superiority of high-energy programmes. Furthermore, monitoring of the intraprostatic temperature promises better clinical results by means of individualization of the treatment. Long-term results have been available and allow the evaluation of the fundamental issue of treatment durability. Improvement after high-energy transurethral microwave thermotherapy remains durable for more than 2.5 years. Randomized studies comparing this treatment with other established therapies for benign prostatic hyperplasia, including medical treatment and transurethral resection of the prostate, have also contributed to an evaluation of the morbidity, and costs of treatment. Clinical outcomes with transurethral microwave thermotherapy are in the range of those obtained with transurethral resection of the prostate and are superior to those of medical management. Retreatment after transurethral resection of the prostate emerges because of complications following the procedure, whereas retreatment after transurethral microwave thermotherapy is as a result of treatment failure. In addition, the rate of failure of medical management is almost seven times higher than that for transurethral microwave thermotherapy. Thus, the latter seems to play a dominant role in the economic models used to assess the cost-efficiency of different treatment modalities for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Summary: The recent innovations in high-energy transurethral microwave thermotherapy provide better and more durable clinical outcomes and lower morbidity, and strengthen its position as an established treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia. However, there is always room for improvement, so further research on therapeutic protocols, treatment monitoring and selection criteria are to be welcomed.