Colin’s Story

Paying for the treatment you need could get you back in the saddle and improve your quality of life: Colin’s story

As we enter our prime we’d all like to think that we can keep active and doing the things we love, but the irony of ageing is that, sometimes, we are more prone to illness and injury. Being aware of the healthcare options available to us can mean that we are able to get the treatment we need quicker and get back to doing the things we love.

That was the case for 66-year-old Worcestershire businessman Colin Burgess who faced having to give up his outdoor lifestyle of scuba diving, rock-climbing and regularly 100-mile cycle rides after he had undergone prostate cancer surgery.

But now, thanks to treatment, which he paid for outside of the NHS at BMI Healthcare, Colin, who co-founded his own business 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. Everything went well and in less than six months Colin 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.”

Consultant Urologist Mr Zaki Almallah at BMI Healthcare, 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.”

Colin decided to pay for his treatment outside of the NHS: “I just wanted to get it done as soon as possible. It was a big thing for someone who was as active as me to suddenly find I couldn’t do anything because of incontinence and I decided it was worth the money.

“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. “I’m now 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!”

BMI Healthcare is the UK’s largest private hospital group. For more information on the ’Pay for Yourself’ options available at BMI Healthcare or their flexible finance option ‘BMI Card’ please visit: or call: 0800 096 2695.


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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fueling fun for the young at heart!

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