Is UroLift Effective? More Common Questions
As men age, the prostate gland grows larger. At times, the prostate can grow large enough that it blocks the flow of urine, leading to a common condition known as BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
When men begin experiencing symptoms from BPH, they often turn to doctors for solutions. One effective solution for BPH is the UroLift procedure.
What is BPH?
BPH is a condition that affects the prostate, causing enlargement. It can lead to symptoms such as difficulty urinating, trouble getting the flow of urine started, experiencing dribbling during urination or needing frequent trips to the bathroom.
The National Cancer Institute indicates that the prostate gland undergoes several growing phases. It starts out the size of a walnut when a man is 20. By the age of 60, it grows to about the size of a lemon. The natural growth progression throughout a man’s life may cause the prostate to press against the bladder and the urethra, making a man feel like he has to urinate more frequently or experience difficulty urinating.
BPH is the most common prostate problem for men older than the age of 50 and can affect 90% of men older than 80. In 2010, nearly 14 million men in the United States had symptoms of BPH, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
BPH can be treated using medications and surgery; however, medications and invasive surgery often lead to serious side effects, such as erectile dysfunction.
What is UroLift for BPH?
UroLift is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that pulls the prostate tissue away from the urethra. The UroLift procedure was approved by the FDA in 2013. During the procedure, the device is inserted into the urethra through a catheter. The device then pushes the prostate tissue away from the urethra. A needle is then used to implant the device, which keeps the prostate tissue pulled away from the urethra permanently. Typically, 4 to 6 implants are placed into the prostate, depending on the size and severity of side effects. There are no cutting or incisions done during the procedure and there is no heating (ablation) of the tissue either. It is far less invasive than open surgery to the abdomen, which can cause damage to the bladder.
What is the “UroLift” made of?
The implants are made of stainless steel, sutures and a special metal known as Nitinol, which has a super-elasticity quality and shape memory.
Does UroLift really work?
The procedure can lead to improved symptoms and improved quality of life in many patients who have the procedure, but your doctor will have more information about whether this option is right for you.
Who is this procedure for?
UroLift is FDA-approved for men older than 45 who have enlarged prostates up to 80 grams in size.
What can I expect after the UroLift procedure?
After the procedure, a man can expect to experience some blood in the urine or a burning sensation when urinating. Most of the time a man won’t even need a catheter after the procedure. There is minimal downtime after the procedure. Many men will experience relief from their symptoms as soon as two weeks after the procedure. Some men may also experience discomfort or pain when urinating or discomfort in the pelvis for 2 to 4 weeks after the procedure.
How long does it take to recover from UroLift surgery?
For most patients, it takes about three days for burning sensations during urination and blood in the urine to subside. A small percentage of men will need to use a catheter for a few days.
The procedure is outpatient and requires little anesthesia. Most patients go home the same day and recovery is quick.
Is UroLift effective?
The UroLift procedure is highly effective. The procedure is minimally invasive and has less downtime than open surgery. Most side effects of the procedure resolve within four weeks. Symptoms of BPH are typically relieved almost immediately after the procedure and most patients report an improved quality of life. Furthermore, UroLift does not cause erectile dysfunction like many medications and surgeries do.
What is the success rate of UroLift?
After the first month, 80 percent of men reported being “much” or “very much better,” according to UroLift. A review of 10 studies on UroLift published in the journal European Urology including nearly 700 patients, indicated nearly all of the patients experienced an overall improvement of symptoms, including improved urine flow and improved quality of life. Patients also were able to preserve their sexual function and had small improvements in sexual function within one year of the procedure.
UroLift is a minimally invasive procedure that has helped many men improve symptoms of BPH and preserve their sex life. If you are experiencing symptoms of BPH, contact the specialists at Advanced Urology to see if you are a candidate for UroLift.