Procedure Offers New Treatment Option for Patients with Prostate Issue
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), more commonly known as an enlarged prostate, affects about 50 percent of men between the ages of 51 and 60 and up to 90 percent of men older than 80, according to the National Institute of Health.
Some symptoms of an enlarged prostate include, but are not limited to:
- Frequent urination or the urge to urinate
- Trouble starting a urine stream
- Urinary incontinence
- Inability to empty the bladder
- Pain during urination
- Dribbling at the end of urination
Medication is typically the first line of treatment for BPH; however, side effects of medication can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using the drugs. For those patients, the alternative is usually surgery that cuts or ablates prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra.
While current surgical options can be very effective in relieving symptoms, they can also leave patients with permanent side effects, such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation.
A new procedure, called the UroLift® System, is considered the first permanent implant to treat symptoms of BPH. Physicians at Hattiesburg Clinic Urology have been offering the procedure since the fall of 2017 and have seen rapid interest among patients due to the nature and prevalence of the disorder.
Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013, UroLift is designed to relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate, while preserving sexual function. The UroLift implants, delivered during a minimally invasive procedure, act like window curtain tie-backs to hold the lobes of an enlarged prostate open. Depending on the case, patients typically recover from the procedure quickly and return to their normal routines with minimal downtime.
Christopher Johnson, 59, of Hattiesburg, has suffered with prostate issues for about four years. Two years ago, he discovered he had an enlarged prostate.
“It was difficult to go to the bathroom at first. Then I was going too frequently…I just thought it was my age,” said Johnson, who works as an investigator for the public defender’s office.
At one point, Johnson recalled, he could not go to the bathroom at all, a painful turning point in his condition that required him to have a catheter. When his doctor told him about this new procedure, he said he willingly agreed to try it. Johnson had the procedure done in January of this year and said he was surprised when his symptoms began to improve that same day.
“Relief was immediate, and it was very little pain,” he said.
Johnson said after years of discomfort, inconvenience and sometimes embarrassment, he felt normal again.
“Within a couple of days, my life was what it was before I had prostate problems.”
Jeff Wilson, Jr., MD, Johnson’s urologist at Hattiesburg Clinic, said he and his colleagues are not surprised that so many patients with BPH are eager to have the procedure.
“UroLift provides men suffering from this condition a first-line treatment alternative to drug therapy or more invasive surgery. At the end of the day, our goal is to improve the quality of life for our patients. That’s why we practice medicine, and that’s why we work to provide therapies like this.”
Meanwhile, Johnson said he’s happy with the outcome.
“It’s been fantastic. I’d recommend it to anyone. I really would.”
To learn more about BPH or the UroLift® System, click here or call (601) 268-5888.