Advanced Treatment Option for Enlarged Prostate
The UroLift® is a set of prostate implants that helps relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also called an enlarged prostate. This minimally invasive treatment provides a better quality of life for men with BPH without the side effects of traditional medicine or surgery.
What is BPH?
BPH is a common, non-cancerous condition where a man’s prostate grows. The prostate is a gland that creates fluid to protect sperm. It’s located between the bladder and the penis and is made up of four lobes that are covered by a thin, stiff shell. The urethra (the tube that carries urine out of the body) runs through the middle of the prostate.
When a man has BPH, the enlarged prostate presses on the urethra and blocks the urine stream. This pressure causes urinary symptoms, such as:
• Having a weak urine stream
• Frequent or urgent need to urinate
• Waking up multiple times at night to urinate
• Not being able to empty the bladder
• Difficulty starting urination
• Dribbling after urination
BPH symptoms can start once a man’s prostate begins to grow, which is usually between ages 45 and 50. Nearly half of all men over age 60 experience BPH symptoms.
Who benefits from UroLift® implants?
UroLift® can help most men with BPH symptoms. However, a small number of men (fewer than 10%) have a prostate that is not the right size or shape for the UroLift® procedure. Your doctor will be able to determine whether you are eligible for UroLift®.
What is the UroLift®?
The UroLift® is a set of permanent implants that hold back the prostate gland lobes. Once the implants are in place, the lobes don’t press on the urethra and urine can flow easily. The implants are made out of surgical steel.
What does the UroLift® procedure entail?
The UroLift® procedure is usually done with local anesthesia in an outpatient setting, such as your doctor’s office. Local anesthesia numbs the area where the doctor performs the procedure. With local anesthesia, you stay awake during the procedure.
If needed, the procedure can be done in a hospital under general anesthesia. When you receive general anesthesia, you are not awake during the procedure. You and your doctor can discuss the best location for your procedure based on your needs and preferences.
During the procedure, your doctor will insert a thin, lighted tube (cystoscope) through your urethra. Your doctor will then insert the UroLift® Delivery Device through the cystoscope. The device includes a needle that holds the UroLift® implants.
Once the Delivery Device is in place, your doctor will insert the needle through the urethra and into the prostate. The needle then deploys the implant — a small, T-shaped brace made of surgical steel. The end of the brace catches on the outside of the prostate gland. The device then adds a small clip on the inside of the urethra to hold the implant in place.
After adding the implant to one side of the prostate, your doctor will repeat the process on the other side. Most men receive four to six implants, with two to three implants on each side of the prostate.
The UroLift® procedure usually takes less than an hour and doesn’t require an overnight hospital stay. Most men can return to normal activities within a week.
What are the benefits of UroLift®?
Many men with BPH use medicines to control symptoms. However, these medicines can cause side effects like dizziness, nasal congestion and sexual dysfunction. These medicines also stop working when the man stops taking them, which means many men must choose between unpleasant side effects or BPH symptoms.
With the UroLift®, patients don’t experience these unpleasant side effects, and most men notice BPH symptoms go away within 30 days.
Studies have also shown that the UroLift® has fewer side effects compared to transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which is a surgical procedure used to treat BPH. TURP can cause side effects like sexual dysfunction and incontinence. Because of where the UroLift® implants are placed on the prostate, they are less likely to damage nerves and cause these problems.
The UroLift® procedure also has a faster recovery time compared to TURP and usually doesn’t require a catheter (a thin, flexible tube that drains urine).
Will my insurance cover the UroLift® procedure?
Most major insurance providers cover UroLift®, including Medicare and Medicaid. However, it’s important to check with your insurance provider on your specific coverage.
Does the UroLift® cause problems with metal detectors or MRIs?
Although the UroLift implants are made of surgical steel, they won’t set off a metal detector. You can also safely undergo MRIs and other imaging tests.
What is a UroLift® Center of Excellence?
A UroLift® Center of Excellence is a urologist who has a high level of experience and training with the UroLift® system. These urologists perform more UroLift® procedures compared to the average urologist and have a higher rate of positive patient outcomes. They must also undergo re-certification and training on the UroLift® system every year.
Orlando Health is the only organization in the Orlando area with physicians who have been named as a UroLift® Center of Excellence.
Orlando Health nurses and technicians have also received specialized training in the UroLift® treatment, which helps improve patient safety, experience and outcomes.