Getting up during the night to urinate is a common problem for men as they age. The need to urinate more frequently is one of the most reported symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and has traditionally been treated with medication for mild to moderate symptoms, or surgery for more serious cases.
The specialists affiliated with Memorial Hermann can provide a different option to resolve urinary symptoms with fewer side effects than medication and a faster recovery time than open surgery. The UroLift® System (UroLift) is a groundbreaking, minimally invasive procedure to treat BPH.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is an overgrowth of prostate tissue. It is a very common condition, and while it is not cancerous, BPH may cause urinary dysfunction.
The prostate gland is located underneath the bladder. When men urinate, the flow of urine starts in the bladder and travels via the urethra through the prostate and empties from the penis. An enlarged prostate obstructs the flow of urine by putting pressure on the urethra and bladder.
When the flow of urine is disrupted by an enlarged prostate, men may experience:
BPH symptoms may increase in frequency and severity as men get older, because the prostate continues to grow. About half of men in their 50s experience BPH symptoms, and the number grows to about 90 percent of men by the time they reach their mid-80s.
An enlarged prostate is not a harmful condition, but it can have a significant negative impact on quality of life. The symptoms of BPH are similar to other, more serious medical conditions, so it is important for men to see their healthcare provider to determine if they are dealing with BPH or something else.
UroLift is a minimally invasive procedure to help men urinate more easily and reduce the frequency of urination.
Because UroLift is nonsurgical, there is no cutting or removal of prostate tissue. Instead, physicians use medical-device implants to “hold back” the prostatic tissue away from the urethra. This relieves pressure on the urethra and removes the urinary obstruction without removing any of the prostate.
The UroLift procedure is an innovative solution for BPH because it does not involve taking medication or undergoing surgery. Medications treat the symptoms of BPH, and are appropriate for many men, but often have side effects including fatigue and sexual dysfunction. UroLift treats BPH at the source of the problem, without the need for ongoing medication.
Urologists can perform the UroLift procedure in their office, a surgery center, or a hospital. Patients receive local anesthetic and remain awake during the 5 to 10-minute procedure. Some patients may also receive mild sedation.
The physician inserts the UroLift implant device into the penis and through the urethra. When the device reaches the prostate, the physician will secure the prostate tissue with small implant devices to keep it from obstructing the urethra. This creates an open channel for urine to flow more freely.
Most men with urinary symptoms who do not want to take oral medications or undergo surgery are candidates for the UroLift procedure. Patients with bothersome urinary symptoms are typically at least 40 years old.
Men whose prostate is excessively large or protrudes into the bladder are usually not good candidates for UroLift and may consider surgery instead.
The UroLift procedure offers significant benefits for some men:
UroLift is one of several options available to treat BPH. Men who are experiencing symptoms should see their urologist to determine which option is best for their specific health needs. Other BPH treatment options include oral medications or surgery.
Patients usually go home the same day as the procedure and can return to normal activities the next day. Urinary symptoms usually improve within a couple of months.
Mild pain or irritation while urinating, or blood in the urine, may last for a few days to weeks after the procedure. This is normal and should resolve on its own.
If you are experiencing symptoms of BPH, the first step is to see your urologist for an evaluation. The specially trained physicians affiliated with Memorial Hermann can assess your specific condition and recommend a treatment plan. UroLift is one option that can improve urinary symptoms and help restore a better quality of life.
For a referral to a Memorial Hermann affiliated Urologist that performs the UroLift procedure, fill out the form below.