New Urolift procedure is effective for men with BPH
Nicholas Boncher, M.D., FACS, Providence Urology Clinic - East
BPH is very common and typically aﬀects men ages 50 and older. In fact, more than 70 percent of men in their 60s have symptoms of this condition. These symptoms include:
- Frequent need to urinate both day and night
- Loss of stream force (weak stream)
- Feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
- Delay or need to pressurize the stream to start urination (“hesitancy”)
- Urgent need to urinate
- Stream that stops and starts (“intermittent stream”)
- Dribble at the end of urination
While BPH is a benign condition, it does have an enormous impact on patients and their families:
- Psychologically (depression)
- Economically (lost work productivity)
- Quality of life (living in the bathroom and experiencing sleep deprivation)
How the Urolift System can help patients with BPH
The Urolift System procedure – available starting in February 2019 at the newly-opened Providence Urology Clinic-East, on the Providence Portland Medical Center campus – has many benefits for patients. The procedure has no sexual side eﬀects, doesn’t involve cutting or heating the prostate, and can be performed either in the oﬃce or in the operating room. Men can expect a recovery period of one to two weeks, during which there are no dietary or physical restrictions. Patients can return to work quickly, and rarely are catheters required.
Understanding the role of the prostate
As we explain to our patients with BPH, the prostate is a key component in the male reproduction system and produces the majority of fluids that create semen. The prostate begins to grow during puberty and plays an important role in men’s sexual and reproductive health.
But the prostate’s growth doesn’t stop after puberty is completed. Instead, there is a slow and steady nonstop enlargement process. At around age 50, the prostate begins to block the urethra as the growth pushes inwardly (as illustrated below), resulting in a constellation of frustrating symptoms for men and their partners.
How the Urolift System works
The Urolift System gained FDA clearance in 2013, following level 1 evidence – with improvement based on a randomized controlled clinical trial – demonstrating significant reduction in urinary symptoms from BPH. Follow-up studies have underlined the durability and eﬀectiveness men can expect after the procedure.
The Urolift System procedure is performed by urologists who have undergone a rigorous training program including proctored cases, online modules and simulators. Participating urologists receive the highest level of training, and the procedure has demonstrated very positive outcomes.
During the procedure, the urologist uses the Urolift System device to lift and move the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way of the urinary stream so that the prostate no longer blocks the urethra. Tiny implants are placed to hold the tissue in place in this new unobstructed position, similar to tiebacks on a window curtain.
These implants are inert, they don’t react with human tissue and patients can’t feel them. Because they’re made of tiny amounts of stainless steel and nitinol, the implants don’t set oﬀ metal detectors. Once the Urolift System procedure is completed, the tissue is compressed and moved out of the way. The result is an open path for the urinary stream.
Traditional approaches to treating BPH
Men with BPH typically are still in the work force and are physically and sexually active. They often are concerned with the side effects and costs of medications to treat their BPH. Transurethral resection of the prostate, or TURP, and other surgeries that burn, microwave or cut away the prostate growth also can cause permanent issues such as leakage, erectile dysfunction or urethral stricture. In addition, these interventions can have a lengthy recovery time (six to eight weeks), may be costly, and sometimes require a post-op urinary catheter. For these and other reasons, patients may be wary of these interventions.
As a result, physicians have an inconsistent track record in treating BPH while meeting men’s expectations for a successful, minimally-invasive, cost-eﬀective therapy with few side eﬀects, and little or no long-term risk/complications.
The Urolift System is among a wide variety of procedures and treatments available for our patients in Providence’s new, dedicated urology clinic.
Contact us at Providence Urology Clinic-East ›