Taunton's Musgrove Park Hospital has become the first NHS hospital in the region to offer a 'state of the art' treatment for an enlarged prostate.
The procedure, known as 'Rezum' involves the injection of steam into the prostate gland in order to receive symptoms caused by prostate obstruction.
The Rezum generator, which is the instrument used in the procedure, was purchased with funds donated to Musgrove from the hospital's 'League of Friends.'
Mr Robert Jones, a consultant urologist at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased to be the first trust in the south west to offer this innovative prostate treatment on the NHS, and we want to thank our League of Friends for purchasing the machine for us.
“The Rezum procedure is quite simple and involves the injection of steam via an instrument passed into the patient’s urethra – more commonly known as their water pipe – to treat the enlargement of a prostate, and it takes less than 20 minutes in total. It’s usually performed under a brief general anaesthetic, as a day case
“Compared to more invasive procedures where patients would have needed a stay in hospital, Rezum is much more comfortable for the patient and has a more rapid recovery.
“It also preserves a patient’s sexual function, which can be affected by some of the other surgical options, and this can be a priority for some patients when deciding which treatment to go for.
“It’s great that we’re now able to offer this minimally invasive option through the NHS, as part of the portfolio of prostate procedures now available in Somerset.
“The feedback from our patients treated so far has been very positive, and it’s great that we can now really offer a bespoke treatment that fits with what’s most important to the individual patient.”
Peter Renshaw, chairman of the Musgrove Park League of Friends, said: "We are thrilled to play a part in helping Musgrove lead the way in the south west, and we are hugely grateful to all those people who continue to support us so generously, especially in difficult financial times.
"Our fundraising continues, as right now we are appealing for help to provide a state-of-the-art operating table to support robotic surgery at the hospital.”