Benign enlargement of the prostate gland affects nearly millions American men. In the past the procedure of choice was a surgical procedure, transurethral resection of the prostate gland, which is often referrd to as the rotor router procedure. Now a first line treatment is the prostate urethral lift PUL, is a new alternative. This blog will discuss the PUL, how it works, and what are the risks and complications of the procedure.
Lack of awareness about a common health condition may be causing millions of men to suffer unnecessarily. Benign prostate enlargement (BPE), affects more than 37 million men in the United States alone. Unfortunately, many men postpone treatment for this disorder because of concerns about side effects such as problems with ejacualtion and impotence or erectile dysfunctihowever, their concerns may be alleviated with additional information.BPE occurs when the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. Symptoms include sleepless nights and urinary problems, and can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life.
About one in four men experience BPH-related symptoms by age 55 and, by age 70, over 80 percent of men suffer from BPH. Most men blame their symptoms on aging. They may not be aware of the high prevalence of BPH or the available medical or surgical treatment options. There is a high risk to delaying treatment and so men should proactively talk with their doctors.
The prostatic urethral lift is a minimally invasive procedures the risks are low compared to medications or other surgeries. BPE can have a significant impact on quality of life for men as well as their partners, and can place limitations on their activities. For example, the need for frequent urination may make travel, sleep and sports activities difficult. We hope that with greater awareness of symptoms and treatment options, men will take a more active role in treating BPE, and live life with greater vitality.
A recent U.S. survey of more than 1,000 men over the age of 50 demonstrated that concerns about the risk of side effects, such as loss of sexual function or urinary incontinence, would cause a majority to postpone or avoid treatment of BPH.
This is unfortunate because, not only is early treatment important to alleviate symptoms and stop the
disorder from worsening, but a new minimally invasive treatment option is available that does not require cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue, and as such does not result in loss of sexual function or urinary incontinence.
The survey results mirror other research and anecdotal evidence from patients that show that men
rarely mention their BPE-like symptoms.
The more recent survey, which was completed in October 2015, demonstrated that:
• A majority of men (61 percent) would postpone treatment for BPH because of the risk of sexual
• side effects or urinary incontinence from traditional treatments
• Eighty-four percent of respondents indicated they would be more open to seeking treatment for
• BPE if the treatment options available held less of a risk of impotence or incontinence
• Nearly half of the men surveyed (44 percent) were not aware that BPH is more common than
• prostate cancer. In fact, BPE impacts more than 12 times as many men in the U.S. as prostate cancer
• Concerns over surgical treatments was high among respondents, with 83 percent stating they
• were interested in a treatment option that could improve BPE symptoms without cutting, heating or
• removing prostate tissue1
In the past,mMedication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects of medication treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative is surgery that cuts or ablates prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While current surgical options can be very effective in relieving symptoms, they can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation (dry orgasm).
The PUL is a minimally invasive and clinically effective device that address unmet needs for men with BPE. The PUL is a minimally invasive permanent implant system that treats symptoms while preserving normal sexual function.
The UroLift System consists of a delivery device and tiny permanent implants. FDA cleared in 2013, this
unique technology works by directly opening the urethra with tiny implants that hold the enlarged tissue out of the way, like tiebacks on a window curtain. No cutting, heating, or ablating tissue is involved, making the UroLift System the first and only BPE treatment that does not remove prostate tissue and does not negatively impact a man’s sexual function.
I have done over 40 cases using the PUL and none of the men have experienced any sexual side effects from
the procedure. Most men can have the procedure in the office setting. They can leave the office without
a catheter and have marked improvement immediately or in a few days. The side effects are frequency of
urination and small amount of bleeding which only last for a short period of time. Research has demonstrated
that the procedure lasts for at least three years.
Most insurance companies, including Medicare, pay for the PUL procedure.
Bottom Line: BPE is a common condition affects millions of American men. A first line treatment that is effect is the prostate urethral lift. Give my office a call if you have