Urolift is a new minimally invasive treatment for men who suffer urinary symptoms related to BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostate enlargement).The first UroLift implants in Queensland will be performed at Pindara Private Hospital, Gold Coast, towards the end of this month.This is an exciting time for the management of urinary symptoms related to prostate enlargement with the new innovation representing a significant change in the treatment options available for men with BPH.
The UroLift system opens the prostatic urethra (the pipe which passes through the centre of the prostate) thus relieving obstruction. The system involves the insertion of small permanent implants which are inserted with the aid of a cystoscope or small camera. The implants work by pulling the lateral lobes of the prostate outwards creating a passage in the middle of an obstructed prostate.
Traditionally treatments for BPH (enlarged prostate) have included medications or surgery. Commonly used medications include alpha blockers or 5 alpha reductase inhibitors in isolation or in combination. Side effects or inadequate relief from urinary symptoms prompts many men to discontinue treatment early and progress to alternative therapies, including surgery.
Transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP can results in a significant improvement in urinary function but is associated with around a 20% morbidity rate. This includes incontinence, strictures, erectile and ejaculatory dysfunction. GreenLight laser therapy (GLP) has, in my practice, superseded TURP to the point that I have not performed a TURP since May 2008. GLP has, in my hands and in international multicentre trials demonstrated outcomes that are as good as TURP but with fewer side effects. Admission times are reduced, catheterisation times decreased and bleeding related complications are an extremely rare occurrence.
For an animation of the new procedure go to: http://youtu.be/aJTOmLi4uBk