Prostate enlargement is extremely common in men over the age of 50 and over the age of 60 affects the majority of men. Often men are reluctant to see the doctor about these sorts of issues but, with increasing numbers of stories in the media about prostate problems, hopefully this will change.
Prostate enlargement is usually nothing to do with prostate cancer and is due to benign prostate enlargement (BPE). The prostate sits just underneath the bladder and as it enlarges it can block the way out of the bladder, making the flow of urine slower when a man passes urine. In time this can lead to other effects on the bladder such as wanting to go more often and having to get up a lot at night.
The flow can become increasingly slow and intermittent and it can be difficult to empty the bladder. Many men find they have to get up a lot at night and this can lead to disturbed sleep for both themselves and their partners. Eventually men can get to the point where they cannot pass urine at all and this is an emergency when a catheter needs to be inserted. For most men things don’t get this bad, but they have slowly worsening symptoms that they may put up with for a long time. They may not even realise until things are treated how bad the situation had got. Additionally, some men find that they are having to rush to the toilet without much warning as the bladder is trying to empty even when it’s not completely full.
So what treatments are available? There are many treatments for prostate enlargement but some of these do have significant side effects. The exciting new UroLift™ procedure is now available at Benenden Hospital and this has very few side effects and in fact has fewer side effects than most of the drug treatments for prostate enlargement.
UroLift is a small procedure performed under sedation in which a small implant is placed, pulling the prostate open. By doing this the flow improves and the bladder emptying improves resulting in fewer urinary symptoms. As it’s a small procedure this requires no overnight stay.
Unlike traditional operations which all involve cutting there is no risk of sexual side effects or incontinence. Because the UroLift is the first new treatment for prostate enlargement that doesn’t involve destroying the prostate itself there are far fewer side effects. Men with troublesome urinary symptoms should certainly see their GP about further assessment. Assessments are now quite straightforward and can easily be performed at Benenden Hospital as an outpatient. The UroLift procedure has been around for some time now and has lots of evidence to support it and has been recognised and approved by NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) as a safe and reliable treatment.
The standard treatments for prostate enlargement such as TURP or laser surgery are very effective but are bigger procedures with a longer stay in hospital and all standard procedures have risks of retrograde ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and incontinence. These problems are not seen with the UroLift procedure. We are excited to now be offering this new procedure at Benenden Hospital using a local anaesthetic procedure done under sedation rather than general anaesthetic which allows an even quicker recovery and allows patients to get home the same day with low risk of nausea. Before men undergo a UroLift procedure they would have a full assessment at Benenden Hospital to check on their prostate size and urinary flow rate and assess whether they are suitable.
Drug treatments are often prescribed in the first place and these can be effective but the UroLift procedure is actually preferred by many men to long term tablet treatment and has fewer side effects than taking drugs in the long term.
We carry out a range of urology treatments, for a no-nonsense chat call our Private Patient Team 01580 242521.
Published on 16 June 2020