New, Minimally Invasive Therapies Replace Medications that Can Have BOTHERSOME Side Effects
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a very common condition in which the prostate enlarges as men get older. Over 70% of men in their 60s have symptoms of BPH, which affects more than 500 million men worldwide.1 While BPH is a benign (non-cancerous) condition, it can cause loss of productivity and sleep, depression and decreased quality of life.
It is common for men with BPH to experience symptoms such as:
- A frequent need to urinate both day and night
- Weak or slow urine stream
- A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
- Difficulty or delay in starting urination
- Urgent feeling of needing to urinate
- A urine stream that stops and starts
Seeking treatment by a urologist can provide men with a number of options to alleviate and provide long term relief for the symptoms of BPH.
BPH Treatments – Choosing What is Right for You
Your urologist will present several treatment options that range from medications to minimally invasive surgical procedures. Together, you and your urologist will be able to determine the right course of action to treat your BPH symptoms.
Medications to treat BPH include:
- Alpha blockers, which relax the muscles around the neck of your bladder, making it easier to urinate.
- Alpha reductase inhibitors, which act to shrink the prostate.
- Cialis® once a day, which works similar to an alpha blocker and can also be used to treat erection problems.
While medications can be helpful in relieving symptoms for some men, patients must continue taking them long-term to maintain the effects. Over 17% of men on medication for BPH discontinue treatment early for reasons such as being dissatisfied with side-effects or not getting adequate symptom relief.2
Additionally, like most medications, side effects affect quality of life, sometimes more than the actual symptoms of BPH. Side effects include:
- Dizziness, which may increase risk for a fall
- Nasal/sinus congestion
- Changes in ejaculation, such as a decrease or loss of volume of fluid and/or an altered ability to have normal erections
UroLift® - New, Minimally Invasive Technique
Chesapeake Urology physicians are now offering patients a new and advanced minimally invasive treatment called the UroLift System that doesn’t cause the unwanted side effects of medications. It is a simple procedure that does not require any cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue.
The UroLift procedure is performed by a urologist and can be done in one of Chesapeake Urology’s offices, in one of our Summit Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASC), or in the hospital, if necessary. The urologist uses the UroLift device to lift and move the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra (the passageway that urine flows through). Tiny implants are placed to hold the tissue in place, like tiebacks on a window curtain. The UroLift device is removed, leaving an unobstructed urethra for urine to flow normally again.
Watch the video on how the UroLift system works, here.
Benefits of UroLift
The UroLift System procedure is a safe and simple treatment option that offers rapid symptom relief for men suffering from BPH. Benefits include:
- Can be performed in one of Chesapeake Urology’s offices or ASCs
- Does not require an overnight stay and typically takes less than an hour to perform
- No catheter use post-procedure is required, in most cases
- Preserves sexual function
- No cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue
Side effects of UroLift
Compared to other BPH procedures and medications, UroLift has been proven safe and effective with minimal side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Small amounts of blood in the urine
- Urinary urgency
- Painful or difficult urination
- Pelvic pain
Studies have shown that almost all side effects were mild to moderate and resolved within two to four weeks after the procedure.
Other BPH Treatment Options
Thermotherapies and Laser Therapy
Thermotherapies are minimally invasive treatments where heat energy such as microwave or radiofrequency is applied to destroy prostate tissue. Less invasive than TURP, these treatments are generally safe, can be performed under local anesthesia or mild sedation and provide moderate symptom relief for some patients. Therapies provided at Chesapeake Urology include:
- Rezūm uses thermal energy in water vapor to reduce and remove obstructive tissue surrounding the prostate. Learn more.
- Laser Vaporization of the Prostate (Greenlight™ Laser Therapy) utilizes a special laser to heat and vaporize the prostate tissue that is obstructing part of the urethra to restore normal urine flow. This is performed as an outpatient procedure in one of Chesapeake Urology’s Summit Ambulatory Surgery Centers. Learn more.
- PlasmaButton™ vaporization is a minimally invasive surgical option for removing prostate tissue that blocks the flow of urine. PlasmaButton Vaporization removes prostate tissue using low temperature plasma energy. Learn more.
- Radio Frequency (RF) Therapy, also known as Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA), is an in-office therapy utilizing targeted, low-level radio frequency energy that produces heat to effectively shrink the prostate tissue. Learn more.
- Transurethral Microwave Therapy (TUMT), also known as cooled thermotherapy, is a non-surgical, in-office treatment that delivers targeted microwave energy to heat and reduce excess prostate tissue. Learn more.
- Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP) is the most common surgery to treat men with severe symptoms of BPH. During this procedure, patients undergo general anesthesia, and obstructing prostate tissue is removed using an instrument called a resectoscope, which is inserted through the urethra. Using the resectoscope, you doctor can remove the prostate tissue that is blocking the flow of urine. Learn more.
For men experiencing symptoms of BPH, there is certainly no one-size-fits-all treatment. However, new treatments can provide a significant improvement in quality of life without the need for long term medication use.
Talk to your urologist about new, advanced treatments including UroLift, and to determine which therapy is right for you.
Learn more about BPH – visit: http://menshealth.chesapeakeurology.com/mens-conditons/pelvic-health/enlarged-prostate-(bph)/
To find a Chesapeake Urology physician, visit http://www.chesapeakeurology.com/physicians/.
- Berry, et al., J Urol 1984 and 2013 U.S. Census worldwide population estimates
- NeoTract US market model estimates for 2013 based on IMS Health and Drug Procedure Data