A New Minimally Invasive Option for Treating Prostate Enlargement

Health Professional

There are some clear signs that you may have an enlarged prostate. How many are you checking yes to?

  • Frequent urination
  • Weak urinary stream
  • Decrease in the force of the urinary stream

Medications

Many different options exist for treating enlarged prostate. Various medications (Flomax, Uroxatrol and Rapaflo) known as alpha -blockers are available to treat patients who suffer from these symptoms. Other agents which are 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors (finasteride, Proscar, Avodart) are another category of medications used to treat emlarged prostate. The alpha-blockers provide a relaxation of certain muscle fibers that surround the prostate whereas the 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors help to shrink the prostate.

Surgery

Unfortunately, not all patients respond to medical therapy, and some require intervention. Various procedures all geared to reducing the volume of the prostate are available to treat the enlarged gland. These procedures are all intended to relieve the obstruction are all performed transurethrally, which involve placing a device into the urethra to perform the procedure. A transurethral resection of the prostate is the most common technique and it involves the use of electrical current to removed pieces of the prostate. A laser can also be used to vaporize the prostate.

A New Minimally Invasive Option

Recently however another new minimally invasive technique has been introduced to treat the prostate known at a prostatic urethral lift (PUL). This technique uses non-absorbable sutures that are placed transurethrally and compresses the lateral aspects of the prostate. This results in the lateral lobes of the prostate so that it does not block the flow of urine.  It is the only technique for prostatic obstruction that does not require cutting, heating, cauterizing or removal of the prostate. Some patients can even have it done in the office under local anesthesia.  When successful, this leads to an opening of the central portion of the prostate and an alleviation of the bothersome symptoms.

Prior studies have shown that this technique offers relief of lower urinary tract symptoms, and was associated with minimal side effects.  A recent study from the University of Texas has confirmed that not only the above however the improvements that are seen are durable for up to 3 years.  Given these promising long term results, Urolift is another satisfactory option for patients to consider for the relief of their prostatic obstruction when drug therapy does not work.