Many middle-aged and elderly men are living with enlarged prostate (BPH-benign prostate hyperplasia) symptoms, which can worsen with age. There are various treatments such as medication, ablation, and surgery. However, such treatments usually don't provide adequate relief and may even cause complications like sexual dysfunction. Some people just ignore the problem, which can deteriorate and even result in kidney and bladder damage, doctors warned. An enlarged prostate can narrow or even block the urethra, causing bothersome urinary symptoms.
"Different people can have different feelings and symptoms of BPH. But two percent of men require surgical intervention to properly address the problem," said Dr Qi Jun from Shanghai United Family Hospital, which is the first medical facility in mainland China to introduce UroLift, an advanced minimally invasive therapy for BPH."
"Different from traditional surgery which should remove the enlarged part of prostate, UroLift is a simple outpatient procedure that can be performed in a doctor's office, under local anesthesia," he said. "The majority of patients do not require catheterization post-procedure and most patients can experience a very quick recovery with benefits soon after the treatment is completed."
The UroLift system uses small implants to hold open the obstructed pathway that's blocking urine flow. During the process, the UroLift delivery device is placed through the obstructed urethra to access the enlarged prostate. Then, small implants are permanently placed to lift and hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way and increase the opening of the urethra. Usually, doctors use four to six implants. For some patients with more serious BPH, doctors may use more implants.
"Most patients can return home immediately and enjoy a speedy recovery," Dr Qi said.
Compared with medication and traditional surgery, Urolift has no new, sustained erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction. "It is an innovative treatment. Of course, not everyone is suitable for the treatment. Colleagues in the USA shared that about one third of their patients with BPH surgery received UroLift last year," Dr Qi said.
He said people with too serious BPH and those with tumors, infection, or congenital urethral stricture are not suitable for UroLift. "Every patient should visit a doctor for professional evaluation and choose the right solution under the doctor's guidance," Dr Qi said.
Dr. Jun QI
Chief Urologist in Shanghai
An international member of the American and European Urological Association