Pay for yourself patient
He was a scuba diving, rock-climbing 66-year-old who regularly went on 100-mile cycle rides, but Bromsgrove businessman Colin Burgess faced having to give up his outdoor active lifestyle.
Now, thanks to an operation carried out at by Consultant Urologist Mr Zaki Almallah, Colin, who co-founded B&L Fencing Services in Bromsgrove, is back in action and even planning a trek to the basecamp at Mount Everest.
It was while on one of his long-distance cycle rides in France that Colin found he couldn’t pass urine and had to be taken to hospital where a catheter was used to ‘relieve’ the situation.
Further scans revealed an enlarged and cancerous prostate and he was soon undergoing surgery to have it removed.
The speed at which I was treated was fantastic and the way it has improved my quality of life far exceeds the cost, which wasn’t as expensive as you might think
Everything went well and in less than six months Colin, who now divides his time between living in England and France, was back on his bike.
But Colin then developed bladder problems and, following unsuccessful surgery in France, was left incontinent and forced to wear an external catheter and pouch.
“This really was a major blow to me,” he explained. “I had kept myself fit and active and now it looked like I was going to have to give up nearly all the outdoor activities that I loved.
“I didn’t wait to be treated and wanted to make sure the solution was the best available, so I started looking at what options were available to me outside of the NHS on the self-pay route.”
“The speed at which I was treated was fantastic and the way it has improved my quality of life far exceeds the cost, which wasn’t as expensive as you might think,” he said.
Mr Almallah, who runs the Birmingham Bladder Clinic at BMI Priory Hospital, explained: “Incontinence can sometimes be an after-effect of treatment for prostate cancer and, in Colin’s case; things weren’t helped by the bladder surgery.
“However, I felt he could be helped by having a device known as an artificial urinary sphincter (AUS) surgically fitted. It is a relatively new treatment with the advantage being that they aren’t as invasive as some other options available.
“They are most suitable for men with less severe stress incontinence, such as Colin, and usually follow an operation to remove the prostate. It will limit or even eradicate the need to wear pads and should greatly improve continence control.”
The only problem the sling has created for Colin is that he is now searching for the ‘perfect saddle’ so he can extend his cycle rides towards the distances he was achieving before his prostate operation.
“I am a little restricted on my cycling,” he said, “But I am back scuba diving, I have taken up skiing and I am presently organising a trek in Nepal where I plan to visit the Everest Base Camp – not bad considering I thought my outdoor activities were just about over before I had the AUS fitted!”