Patient seating in front of the doctor

Rezum vs. UroLift for BPH: Which Is Better for You?


  • Both UroLift and Rezum have significant advantages over traditional surgery to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
  • However, both have possible drawbacks to consider for men who want more effective BPH treatment.
  • Before any elective surgery for BPH, men should consider their options, including medication.

UroLift and Rezum are both becoming more common for treating the urinary symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Yet there’s some disagreement over which is best, and for whom. In this article we’ll weigh Rezum vs. Urolift, discussing what these surgeries involve, how they can help urinary symptoms, and which may be a better option.

Why Does BPH Cause Urinary Problems?

Around age 40, most men’s prostates begin growing again after stopping at around 25. The prostate won’t stop growing again for the rest of a man’s life. It’s not clear why this happens, and it’s not dangerous, but it can cause urinary problems. The prostate can press on and narrow the urethra, causing problems with urination and making it difficult to completely empty the bladder.

Until recently, the solution to these problems has been to remove some of the prostate tissue using a procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP.) With TURP, doctors use cautery lasers or sharp instruments to remove small sections of the prostate.

However, as the prostate sits at the center of a sensitive network of nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, this surgery has risks, including erectile dysfunction (ED). Similarly, while TURP is far less invasive than more extensive procedures, like partial or radical prostatectomy, it is still surgery with all the attendant risks. Doctors are hesitant to recommend elective surgery like TURP if they feel the risks outweigh the benefits, so lower-risk procedures offer more options.

What Is UroLift?

Doctor writing in a medical record

UroLift is a prostatic urethral lift, where small implants are put into the urethra and left in place to hold back and reshape the prostate and keep it from pinching off the urethra. It’s designed to be minimally invasive, performed with a mild sedative, and takes around an hour to perform. Most patients are up and around two to three days afterward, with only generally minor side effects such as a temporary burning sensation when urinating.

So far, no effect on sexual function has been reported with UroLift. However, it’s not clear in the long term how effective UroLift is, although so far reports state it’s worked for up to five years.

What Is Rezum?

Rezum is also called water vapor thermal therapy. A small needle is introduced through the urethra into the prostate. The needle then pumps water vapor into the prostate, creating an even heat all around the prostate that damages the tissue. Your body then naturally removes it.

Rezum treatments are short, approximately nine seconds, and can be done as an outpatient procedure in a single appointment. A catheter is generally required for a few days after the procedure. Like UroLift, Rerzum preserves current sexual function and lasts for at least five years.

Who Should Consider These Procedures?

Patient seating on a bed

Surgery of any form is a major decision. If you have BPH and any of the following pertain to you, you may be a good candidate for UroLift or Rezum.

  • Your BPH medication is either ineffective or has side effects that are difficult to manage.
  • Lifestyle changes such as urinary training, Kegel exercises, or limiting fluid consumption haven’t been effective or interfere with other aspects of your life.
  • You have personal commitments or needs that won’t accommodate a long recovery period for elective surgery.
  • Your BPH urinary symptoms get in the way of daily life but not to the degree that you and your doctor feel justifies major surgery.

Rezum vs UroLift: Similarities

Both of these treatments have distinct advantages over TURP, and they have many features in common. Both procedures:

  • Are minimally invasive. Neither requires major surgery or even incisions, substantially reducing recovery time and infection risk.
  • Require less anesthesia. Only local anesthesia is needed for either procedure, and sometimes even that is minimal, making the procedure safer.
  • Boast long-term effectiveness. Both procedures can back up their claims for long-lasting treatment, as both have been shown to be effective for up to five years.
  • Have brief recovery periods. Most patients for both procedures are out of recovery within two to three days and back to their lives, particularly important for younger patients.
  • Result in minimal post-surgical complications. In most patients, the most commonly reported symptom is blood in the semen or urine, which goes away after a brief healing period.
  • May need to be repeated. Results aren’t guaranteed, and either procedure may need to be repeated after several years.

Rezum vs UroLift: Differences

  • Implants. As UroLift uses implants, devices that remain in the body, there are some concerns about possible allergic reactions. Men who are allergic to titanium, nickel, or stainless steel should speak with their doctor before considering UroLift, according to the procedure’s official site.
  • Prostate size. UroLift isn’t recommended for prostates over 100 cc in size.
  • Catheterization. Rezum may require catheterization, which can be risky for some men if they’re prone to urinary tract infections or have immunocompromisation concerns. One study found that up to 55 percent of men who had the Rezum procedure needed a catheter, compared to 7 percent of men who underwent UroLift.

Explore All Your Options Before Opting for Surgery

Hands holding a medical device

For minor cases of BPH, surgery may not be the best option. Whether it’s covered may depend on your insurance carrier and the overall progression of your BPH symptoms. Speak with your doctor and get a full view of the status of your prostate and your treatment options.

You May Be Able to Treat Your BPH With Medication

Also, be informed about nonsurgical options. For example, Cialis daily has been shown to help with BPH symptoms. It’s believed that the same action that makes Cialis an effective treatment for ED also relaxes the prostate, which is surrounded by a sheath of smooth muscle and contains smooth muscle cells. Cialis treats both BPH and ED, making it a popular medication choice.

eDrugstore offers competitive prices on Cialis daily and a wide range of other erectile dysfunction medications, with telehealth services and other tools to guide you to choices that work with your life. Visit our erectile dysfunction page to learn more about Cialis for daily use.

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