Men with enlarged prostate glands have symptoms of going to the bathroom frequently, dribbling after urination, and getting up at night to go to the bathroom. The problem is usually caused by a benign enlargement of the prostate gland, which blocks the flow of urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.
The cause of the benign enlargement is not known but is probably related to alternations in the hormones, testosterone, of middle aged and older men. Treatment usually consists of medications, alpha blockers and medications to actually relax the muscles in the prostate gland but these are often ineffective especially if used for long period of time. The other options include minimally invasive procedures such as microwaves that can actually shrink the prostate gland. Now there’s a new treatment option that will soon be available.
The UroLift system, made by NeoTract Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., is the first permanent implant to relieve low or blocked urine flow in men age 50 and older with an enlarged prostate.
By pulling back prostate tissue that presses on the urethra, the system allows more natural urine flow.
The procedure can be done in the doctor’s office under a local anesthesia and will actually open up the urethra to allow the flow of urine and reduce the urinary symptoms of frequency of urination, improve the force and caliber of the urine stream, and decrease the number of times a man needs to get up at night to empty his bladder.
Of course with any procedure there may be side effects and complications. Some patients reported pain or burning during urination, increased urgency, decreased urine flow, incomplete bladder emptying, and blood in the urine. Most of these symptoms and side effects were temporary and resolved a few days or weeks after the Urolift was performed.
Bottom Line: Millions of American men suffer from symptoms as a result of an enlarged prostate gland. Certainly medications are a first line treatment option. However, the Urolift may be a permanent solution to this common problem and help men get a good night’s sleep!