In recent years, a new medical tool called the UroLift System has helped men treat the symptoms of a non-cancerous increase in the size of their prostate — or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). When a man has BPH, enlargement of the prostate can narrow their urethra, leading to difficulties with urination. While medication has been the first-line therapy for BPH in the past, UroLift has several advantages, including its limited and minor side effects.
For those struggling with urination or other symptoms due to BPH, UroLift may provide significant improvement in quality of life.
The Symptoms of BPH
While men experiencing changes with their prostate should always schedule an appointment with their physician, it’s first important to note that BPH isn’t related to prostate cancer. In fact, changes in the urinary function are very common as patients age. Still, these changes can be frustrating, painful or even the cause of embarrassment, decreased social activity and depression.
The symptoms of BPH can be broken down into two subtypes: obstructive and storage-related. Obstructive symptoms are directly related to the blocking of the urine stream due to an enlarged prostate and narrowing of the urethra. Obstructive symptoms include:
A slow and/or intermittent urine stream
Hesitancy with urination
The need to double void
Given a narrowed stream, symptoms also develop in the bladder because of the higher pressure needed to overcome a narrowed urethra. These storage-related symptoms include:
Increased urgency to urinate
Frequent need to urinate, including during the night
If any of these symptoms become a disturbance to your normal quality of life, it’s important to seek evaluation by a healthcare professional.
How the Urolift System Works
UroLift is a device that urologists can use to open up the prostatic urethral channel in patients with BPH. This procedure allows patients to return to a more natural way of urinating, such as having a stronger stream and experiencing less frequent voiding. Typically performed under local anesthesia, a urologist inserts the UroLift device through the obstructed urethra to access the enlarged prostate. Small implants are then placed around the prostate tissue, thus permanently increasing the opening of the urethra.
Minimally Invasive, Highly EffectiveThe UroLift System has been used across the country since 2015. Because this procedure is safe, minimally invasive and highly effective, it’s currently considered a standard of care for BPH. In fact, there aren’t any serious or long-lasting side effects associated with the UroLift device, and the majority of patients report an overall improved quality of life afterward.
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