FULLERTON, Calif., April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Urologists at St. Jude Medical Center are among the first in the region to offer UroLift, a new minimally-invasive treatment to correct one of the most common issues men face with aging: low or blocked urine flow due to an enlarged prostate.
More than half of all men in their 60s and as many as 90 percent of men in their 70s and 80s have symptoms of an enlarged prostate—also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)—which often includes frequent urination with hesitant or interrupted stream as well as urinary urgency or leaking.
By pulling back the prostate tissue that is pressing on the urethra with tiny permanent stents (much like curtain tie-backs), UroLift offers an effective, minimally-invasive solution that avoids the side effects of other treatment options and preserves sexual function.
"This simple, outpatient procedure allows men to recover very quickly while offering rapid, meaningful relief from their symptoms," explains Alan Weinberg, MD, FACS, a board-certified and nationally respected specialist in urinary and prostate issues. "For men who want to avoid a lifetime of medications or surgery, this procedure is an important breakthrough."
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in late 2013, UroLift offers a first-line treatment alternative to drug therapy or more invasive surgery. No hospitalization is required; patients go home the same day and return to their normal routines with little downtime—most within 1-2 days.
"Men often blame their urinary symptoms on aging and never discuss them with their doctor, while others consider treatment but reject it out of concern over side effects such as sexual dysfunction or incontinence," explains Michael Gazzaniga, MD, FACS, a board-certified urologist frequently named among Orange County's top physicians and an expert in robotic and minimally-invasive solutions. "This 15-minute procedure offers a safe and effective solution, without the side effects of traditional therapies."
The vast majority of men with urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate are candidates for UroLift, including those currently on BPH medications who want their symptoms eliminated instead of simply managed.
"If your life is being interrupted by the effects of an enlarged prostate, you now have a great new treatment option," says Eric Tygenhof, MD, a highly-trained urologist with specialized expertise in minimally-invasive treatments for both benign and cancerous urologic conditions. "Rather than having to wait several months for improvement as with other types of therapies, men of all ages are seeing an immediate difference in their symptoms."
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a medical condition in which the prostate gland that surrounds the male urethra becomes enlarged with age and begins to obstruct the urinary system. This common condition affects millions of men in the U.S. with symptoms that include a frequent need to urinate both day and night, a urinary stream that is weak, slow or stops and starts, and difficulty completely empting the bladder. BPH can significantly impact men's quality of life, causing sleepless nights, limiting activities and productivity, and creating isolation or depression.
Medication 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 some patients to quit using the drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative is surgery that cuts or ablates the prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. While current surgical options can be very effective in reliving symptoms, there is also the risk of permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction and retrograde ejaculation.
About St. Jude Medical Center
St. Jude Medical Center is a faith-based, non-profit, 320-bed facility, and is one of Southern California's most-respected and technologically-advanced hospitals. St. Jude has been designated a Magnet® hospital and an Advanced Comprehensive Stroke Center. With nearly 700 of the area's finest physicians on staff, St. Jude offers nearly every medical specialty and sub-specialty. Whether for the birth of a baby, life-saving surgery or a routine mammogram, St. Jude continues to set the standard for medical care and offers the community the most comprehensive array of nationally-recognized services and programs.
The UroLift System provides a minimally invasive alternative to surgery for treatment of an enlarged prostate. Performed through the urethra, St. Jude Medical Center urologists use the UroLift System to push aside the enlarged prostate tissue and position small, permanent implants to hold the prostate lobes in the retracted position. This opens the urethra while leaving the prostate intact, preserving continence and sexual function and avoiding the side effects seen with medications and surgery.
Side effects from the UroLift procedure are typically limited to some frequency and urgency, which normally subside within several days. The procedure is covered by Medicare and most insurance.
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SOURCE St. Jude Medical Center