UroLift® Treatment for an enlarged prostate (BPH)

UroLift for BPH – an enlarged prostate

Designed for patients diagnosed with BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia), the Urolift surgical procedure is a recently introduced treatment that’s perhaps most appropriate in situations where medication has become ineffective or intolerable for the patient.

Surgeons and anesthetists will decide whether general anesthetic or twilight sedation is used during the operation.

UroLift Treatment procedure

A tiny telescopic tool is inserted into the urethra; this passes in-between the inner and outer surfaces of the prostate lobe to cause retraction, relieving the urethra of obstructions or pressure with the insertion of bands. The Urolift procedure avoids tissues being burned or cut, as bands are inserted as required; this is typically dictated by the dimensions of the prostate.

Urolift Treatment for BPH enlarged prostate
Credit: Getty Images Ltd.

Device advantages

Approved by NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) since 2014¹, Urolift treatments can reduce symptoms by as much as 50% and double urine flow rate. After recovery, symptoms are almost twice as effective as medical treatment alone.  One advantage of Urolift treatment is the ability to avoid unnecessary tissue damage and sexual dysfunction after the procedure.

Taking two weeks off from work is advisable and patients can generally return home on the same day of their surgery. Most patient’s do not need to use a catheter during recovery and will gradually become more capable of urinating freely and more efficiently. Ongoing assessment of the UroLift treatment show that results can last for up to three years.

Treatment side effects

As with many medical procedures side effects should be considered. Common side effects following UroLift surgery include;

  • increased urgency, frequency and sensitivity when urinating
  • urinary leakage or bleeding
  • urinary tract infections
  • pain throughout the general pelvic region.

Recovery

Everyday exercise and activities are permissible, however, patients should refrain from;

  • heavy lifting
  • any sexual engagement
  • long instances of sitting and driving , especially within the twenty four hour period following the procedure.

Patients should steadily drink up to two litres of caffeine-free fluids daily and attempt to retrain the bladder by urinating only when vital.

Suitable candidates

Individual assessments are essential and consultants will consider the prostate size, toilet habits and sexual activity level. Typically patients are also evaluated for prostate cancer. UroLift is best for those hoping to marginalise the impact on sexual functionality and to minimise invasive surgery. This procedure is most effective on less enlarged prostates.

Consultation

This treatment is not appropriate for all patients diagnosed with BPH and in-depth consultation is critical to address expectations and the long and short-term side-effects and recovery. Alternative treatments such as TURP (TransUrethral Resection of the Prostate), HoLEP (Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate), Greenlight laser, Rezum and iTind may also be discussed and considered.

¹ Urolift, Urolift system, February 2021

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