New Treatment Option for Men with Enlarged Prostate
Urologists at St. Jude Medical Center offer a new minimally-invasive treatment
to correct one of the most common issues men face with aging: low or blocked
urine flow due to an enlarged prostate.
More than half of all men in their 60s and as many as 90 percent of men
in their 70s and 80s have symptoms of an enlarged prostate—known
as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—which often includes frequent
urination with hesitant or interrupted stream as well as urinary urgency
The simple, outpatient procedure pulls back the prostate tissue that is
pressing on the urethra with tiny permanent stents (much like curtain
tie-backs). The result is a highly-effective, minimally-invasive solution
that avoids the side effects of other treatment options and preserves
sexual function. There is no cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue.
Who is a candidate for UroLift?
Most men suffering from the urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged
prostate are candidates for UroLift, including those currently on BPH
medications who don’t want to take daily medications or who haven’t
found medications effective in managing their symptoms.
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late 2013, UroLift
offers a first-line treatment alternative to drug therapy or more invasive surgery.
How does UroLift Work?
Performed through the urethra, urologists use the UroLift System to push
aside the enlarged prostate tissue and position small stents to hold the
prostate lobes in the retracted position. This opens the urethra while
leaving the prostate intact, preserving continence and sexual function
and avoiding the side effects seen with medications and surgery.
No hospitalization is required for the 15-minute procedure; patients go
home the same day and return to their normal routines with little downtime-often
within 1-2 days.
Rather than having to wait several months for improvement as with other
types of therapies, patients typically see an immediate difference in
their symptoms. Side effects from the UroLift procedure are usually limited
to some frequency and urgency, which normally subside within several days.
What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)?
Benign prostatic hyperplasia is a medical condition in which the prostate
gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged with age and begins
to obstruct the urinary system. This common condition affects millions
of men in the U.S. with symptoms that include:
- a frequent or urgent need to urinate, often at night
- a urinary stream that is weak, slow or stops and starts
- difficulty completely empting the bladder
- leaking of urine
BPH can significantly impact men’s quality of life, causing sleepless
nights, limiting activities and productivity, and creating isolation or
What are the traditional treatments for BPH?
Medication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but for
some men relief is inadequate and temporary. Side effects of medication
treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting
some patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic
alternative is surgery that cuts or ablates the prostate tissue to open
the blocked urethra. While current surgical options can be very effective
in reliving symptoms, there is also the risk of permanent side effects
such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation.
UroLift provides a highly effective, minimally-invasive alternative to
both medications and surgery. The procedure is covered by Medicare and
Meet the expert urologists who offer UroLift