UroLift

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 or leaking.

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 depression.

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 most insurance.

Meet the expert urologists who offer UroLift

Michael Gazzaniga, MD

Eric Tygenhof, MD

Alan Weinberg, MD

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