The enlarged prostate is a medical condition in which the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra (tube in the penis that transports urine and semen located in the penis) becomes enlarged with advancing age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. The condition is common, affecting approximately 37 million men in the United States alone. BPH symptoms include sleepless nights as men are awakened to empty their bladder and urinary problems such as dribbling after urination, frequency of urination, and urgency of urination. This condition can cause loss of productivity, depression and decreased quality of life. About one in four men experience these urinary symptoms by age 55 and by age 70, over 80 percent of men suffer from BPH.
Medication is often the first-line therapy for enlarged prostate, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects of 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, such as transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP or “roto rooter”), can be very effective in relieving symptoms, it can also leave patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation (dry orgasm).
A new study in published in Urology Practice, an official journal of the American Urological Association, concluded that the UroLift System preserves sexual function and provides rapid improvement in symptoms, flow and quality of life that are sustained to two years.
UroLift, which provides rapid relief of enlarged prostate symptoms with minimal side effects, are durable for at least two years after treatment, with less than one in ten patients requiring an additional procedure for symptom relief. At two years only 7.5% of patients required an additional procedure for lower urinary tract symptoms. Adverse events were typically early, mild and transient. There was no occurrence of de novo sustained ejaculatory or erectile dysfunction\impotence.
Bottom Line: Millions of American men suffer from the enlarged prostate gland. Help is available often starting with medication. Another option is Uro-Lift which can be done in the ambulatory treatment center and has immediate results.