What is Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) and how can Urolift help?
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH, is a condition in which the prostate enlarges as men get older. BPH is a very common condition that affects over 40 million Americans and over 500 million aging men worldwide. Over 40% of men in their 50s and over 70% of men in their 60s have BPH1. While BPH is a benign condition and unrelated to prostate cancer, it can greatly affect a man’s quality of life.
As the prostate enlarges, it presses on and blocks the urethra, causing bothersome urinary symptoms such as:
- Frequent need to urinate both day and night
- Weak or slow urinary stream
- A sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder
- Difficulty or delay in starting urination
- Urgent feeling of needing to urinate
- A urinary stream that stops and starts
If you suffer from the above symptoms, you are not alone. BPH is the leading reason men visit a urologist.
What is the UroLift System?
Treatment with the UroLift® System uses a minimally invasive approach that provides rapid relief and recovery of BPH symptoms. It is an earlier treatment option can get men off BPH medications and avoid major surgery. The goal of the UroLift System treatment is to relieve symptoms so you can get back to your life and resume your daily activities.
The UroLift® System treatment has demonstrated a significant improvement in quality of life for patients compared to medications. The UroLift® System is the only BPH procedure shown not to cause new and lasting erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction, while being a safe and effective treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms due to BPH.
How Does The UroLift® System Work?
The UroLift® System uses a revolutionary approach to treating BPH that lifts and holds the enlarged prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra. It is the only available BPH treatment performed by a urologist that does not require heating, cutting, or removal of the prostate tissue. The procedure is typically performed using local anesthesia in a physician’s office or ambulatory surgery center. Patients typically return home the same day without a catheter.
UroLift® System Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the UroLift® System?
The UroLift® System is a new minimally invasive treatment designed to treat lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to BPH.
2. How does the UroLift System work?
The UroLift System consists of a delivery device and tiny permanent implants. FDA cleared in 2013, this unique technology works by directly opening the urethra with tiny implants that hold the enlarged tissue out of the way, like tiebacks on a window curtain. No cutting, heating, or ablating tissue is involved, making the UroLift System the first and only BPH treatment that does not remove prostate tissue and does not negatively impact a man’s sexual function.
3. How do I know if the UroLift System treatment is right for me?
The UroLift System is a proven treatment option for BPH patients who are looking for an alternative to drugs or major surgery. You may be considering or scheduled for a TURP/Laser treatment, or are unhappy with or have stopped taking medications. The UroLift System is appropriate for patients seeking a minimally invasive treatment and are concerned about preserving their sexual function and their quality of life.
4. What should I expect during the UroLift System treatment?
If you and your doctor decide that the UroLift System treatment is right for you, your doctor will provide the specific, detailed information relating to your condition. In general, the UroLift System is a minimally invasive treatment that entails minimal downtime. Your doctor will use the UroLift delivery device to deploy permanent implants to relieve obstruction caused by the enlarged prostate that is pressing on your urethra. The procedure may be performed under local or general anesthesia and you may be given medication to feel comfortable during the treatment. Typically, no catheter and no overnight stay is required post-treatment.
5. What happens post-treatment, during the recovery period?
After the treatment, almost all patients go home the same day without a catheter. There is minimal downtime post-treatment and many patients experience symptom relief in as early as 2 weeks. Patients may experience some urinary discomfort during the recovery period. The most common side effects may include light blood in the urine, some pain or discomfort when urinating, some increased urge to go and discomfort in the pelvis that typically resolve within two to four weeks after the procedure.
6. Will having the UroLift System treatment affect my sexual function?
Sexual function has been preserved among the hundreds of patients treated in our clinical studies.1,2,3,4 This is a unique benefit of the UroLift System treatment compared with other BPH therapies such as TURP, laser, and even medication.
7. Is the treatment permanent?
The UroLift Implant is a permanent implant, and the treatment is intended to be permanent. Durability has been shown to at least 4 years in U.S. clinical data,1 and results will continue to be published as follow-ups continue. One unique aspect of the UroLift System is that it does not preclude retreatment or other BPH treatments, should that be needed and desired in the future.
8. What happens if the implants need to be removed?
The implant is made up of standard surgical implantable materials: a nitinol capsular tab, a stainless steel urethral tab, and polyester suture that holds the two tabs together. Your doctor can simply remove the implant, if needed. The suture can be cut and the urethral endpiece can be retrieved with a standard grasper. The capsular tab will remain outside the prostate capsule in place.
9. Are there any contraindications?
The primary contraindications are an obstructive or protruding median lobe of the prostate and a prostate with a volume of >80cc.
10. Will the implants interfere with having an MRI?
Non-clinical testing has demonstrated that the UroLift Implant is MR Conditional. That means that you can be safely scanned in an MR system meeting the following conditions:
- Static magnetic field of 3 Tesla or less
- Maximum spatial gradient magnetic field of 1500 Gauss/cm (15 T/m) or less
- Maximum MR system reported, whole body averaged specific absorption rate (SAR) of 4 W/kg (First Level Controlled Mode)
Under the scan conditions defined above, the UroLift implant is expected to produce a maximum temperature rise of 2.4°C after 15 minutes of continuous scanning.
In non-clinical testing, the image artifact caused by the device extends approximately 15 mm from the UroLift Implant when imaged with a gradient echo pulse sequence and a 3 Tesla MRI system.
Patient implant cards are provided to inform the patient that the UroLift implant is MR Conditional and can safely be scanned only under specific MR conditions.
If you have any questions about MRI safety, please consult your doctor.
11. Will the UroLift implants affect a digital rectal exam (DRE)?
No. The implants are placed on the anterior (front) side of the prostate, and a DRE is conducted on the posterior (back) side of the prostate. The implants are not expected to interfere in a DRE.
12. What clinical data is available for the UroLift System?
Over 950 patient-years of clinical data has been presented in peer-reviewed publications to date demonstrating that the UroLift System is safe and effective. Clinical studies have been conducted in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.
13. How do I find out if my health plan covers the UroLift System treatment?
The first step is to make an appointment with your urologist to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for the treatment. Your physician’s office staff can work with you and your health plan to learn more about your healthcare benefits specific to the UroLift implant procedure.
14. Does Medicare cover the UroLift System?
Yes, all Medicare carriers provide benefits for the UroLift System when medically necessary. Discuss the UroLift System with your physician to determine if the UroLift treatment is an option for you.
15. Who performs the UroLift System treatment?
A urologist, a doctor who specializes in the treatment of diseases of the urinary system and sex organs, uses the UroLift System to treat urinary symptoms due to BPH. The urologist completes comprehensive training prior to using the UroLift System.