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Surgical treatment for BPH refractory to medication: robotic water jet ablation vs. TURP functional outcomes from two FDA clinical trials
Department of Urology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University/New York Presbyterian , New York, New York, USA
Feb  2023 (Vol.  30, Issue  1, Pages( 11408 - 11413)
PMID: 36779946


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  • Introduction:

    A common indication for benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) therapies is failure to improve with medical therapy. However, pivotal Federal Drug Administration (FDA) registered randomized clinical trials (RCTs) for minimally invasive surgical therapies (MISTs) are designed to be compared to either sham or placebo while off medical therapy at baseline, and as an alternative to medical therapy. There are few if any RCTs reporting the MISTS efficacy in patients with true medical therapy failure. We report on the efficacy of robotic water jet ablation therapy (RWT) and TURP in patients who have failed to improve with medical therapy.

    Materials and methods:

    Data was obtained from the WATER and WATER II clinical trials. Both clinical trials did not implement a drug washout period. Only patients with reported BPH medical therapy such as alpha-blockers (AB) and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors (5-ARIs) usage were included. Functional outcomes as post-void residual volume (PVR), peak urinary flow rate (Qmax), internal prostate symptom score (IPSS), and quality of life score (QoL) were analyzed.


    AB and/or 5-ARIs usage at baseline were reported in 146 and 39 patients who underwent RWT (prostate sizes up to 150 cc) and transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP, prostate sizes up to 80 cc) respectively. Baseline median (IQR) IPSS, QoL, Qmax and PVR were 24 (18,28), 5 (4,5), 8.9 (6.4,11.5), and 95 (36,172), respectively. Functional outcomes did not statistically differ between Aquablation and TURP at baseline and at 36-month. In cohort of true medical failure, both RWT and TURP demonstrated group statistical improvements in PVR, Qmax, IPSS, and QoL at 36-month compared to baseline.


    RWT and TURP are effective BPH therapy in patients who truly failed medical therapy, and RWT demonstrated this in a much broader prostate size range.