UroLift – A new treatment for BPH
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition in which the prostate enlarges as men get older. It is very common and affects over 40 million Americans and over 500 million aging men worldwide. Over 40% of men in their 50s and over 70% of men in their 60s have BPH . While BPH is a benign condition and unrelated to prostate cancer, it can greatly affect a man’s quality of life.
As the prostate enlarges, it presses on and blocks the urethra, causing bothersome urinary symptoms such as:
- Frequent need to urinate both day and night
- Weak or slow urinary stream
- A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
- Difficulty or delay in starting urination
- Urgent feeling of needing to urinate
- A urinary stream that stops and starts
UroLift is a new, minimally invasive procedure that can be used to treat BPH or an enlarged prostate. It is performed by a urologist and it doesn’t require any heating, cutting or removal of tissue. Rather, it is a tiny implant that is used to lift and hold the tissue around the urethra, and gently expand the channel where the urethra passes through the prostate. Once in place, it relieves the compression on the urethra and re-opens the channel so that urine can pass through freely.
There are many benefits to this procedure:
- Men can get treatment earlier
- Can be done in the office or in a surgery center setting.
- It is performed with light sedation
- There is less bleeding which lessens the chance of clotting
- It does not have any sexual side effects
- A catheter is often not needed following the procedure and that reduces the risk of infection
- The procedure itself takes 10 minutes or less
- The recovery time is quick and patients generally see improvement in 2-4 weeks
- The channel is now open when it was compressed
UroLift is considered as a treatment option for men who have prostate enlargement and the size of the prostate is 100 grams or less, which is why it is important to seek treatment early at the onset of symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions About the UroLift Procedure
Who is a good candidate for the UroLift® System treatment?
You may be a good candidate if you are a male, 45 years of age or older, and have symptoms relating to BPH. Speak with your urologist to see if the UroLift® System treatment is right for you. If you have a known allergy to nickel, titanium or stainless steel, talk to your doctor about your allergy before getting a UroLift System treatment.
What should I expect during the treatment? Is it painful? How long does it take?
If you and your doctor decide that the UroLift® System treatment is right for you, your doctor will provide you with more detailed information relating to the treatment. In general, the UroLift System is a minimally invasive treatment that entails minimal downtime. Your doctor will use the UroLift Delivery Device to deploy permanent implants to relieve obstruction caused by the enlarged prostate that is pressing on your urethra. The procedure, which usually takes about an hour, may be performed under local or general anesthesia and you may be given medication to feel comfortable during the treatment. This typically helps minimize discomfort during the procedure, though everyone’s definition for
1 pain and discomfort varies greatly. Typically, no catheter and no overnight stay is required post-treatment .
What happens post-treatment, during the recovery period? Are meds required?
After the treatment, patients typically go home the same day without a catheter. There is minimal downtime post- treatment and many patients experience symptom relief in as early as 2 weeks. Patients may experience some urinary discomfort during the recovery period. Most common side effects are mild to moderate and include pain or burning with urination, blood in the urine, pelvic pain, urgent need to urinate and/or the inability to control the urge. Most symptoms resolved within two to four weeks after the procedure.
Does the treatment affect my sexual function?
Clinical studies have shown the UroLift® System treatment does not cause new, sustained instances of erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction . The same cannot always be said of other BPH therapies such as TURP, laser, and even medication.
Does my insurance cover the treatment?
The UroLift® System treatment is covered by Medicare and all major private insurers. Contact your insurance provider for your specific coverage information.