Categories

Categories

The UroLift System for an Enlarged Prostate

March 10, 2019


Having to make frequent restroom stops during the day is not fun and can be, frankly, frustrating. But now, there is a new solution to help men, and Gordon Greeley of Howe, who just turned 70, is the first to tell others “to quit thinking about it and go get it done!”

For men, the cause of frequent restroom trips can be attributed to an enlarged prostate, sometimes called BPH, benign prostatic hyperplasia. 

BPH is a very common condition that affects nearly 40 million Americans and over 500 million aging men worldwide. Over 40 percent of men in their 50s and over 70 percent of men in their 60s have BPH, according to the Journal of Urology. 

While BPH is a benign condition and unrelated to prostate cancer, it can greatly affect the 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.

Men who are truck drivers, set at a desk or run heavy equipment can be affected more than others, Greeley said, and he has had two of the those three careers – truck driver and equipment operator. 

Greeley’s problem started a few years ago. He felt he had “to go” every 15 minutes. “Try driving truck with that problem,” he said, “having to stop and then 15 minutes later having to go again.” Sometimes, he could sit through a couple hours, but when he got up, he had to find a restroom fast. 

He went to his doctor about it. Medication is often the first line therapy but it’s not perfect, and some men quit taking the medications because side effects of treatment can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches.  

Greeley was on medication for a few years. At first, he took one pill a day, but eventually, it became two pills per day. A test showed that he wasn’t really emptying his bladder completely.

“The most annoying thing is to have to feel like you have to have a bathroom with you all the time,” Greeley said.

Having had enough, Greeley brought it up to his urologist, Dr. Kumaresan Ganabathi of Penn Highlands Urology, who mentioned UroLift.
Cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013, the UroLift System is designed to relieve symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. It is an alternative to removing prostate tissue surgically to shrink the prostate. 

Performed through the urethra, a urologist places tiny UroLift implants to permanently lift and hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way of the urethra, the tube that’s connected to the bladder. This makes the urethra the size it should be to help urine flow adequately when emptying the bladder.

“This is a straightforward procedure that opens up the blocked urethra by lifting and holding enlarged prostate tissue out of the way without ongoing BPH medications, cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue,” Ganabathi said. “As compared to traditional surgery, the UroLift procedure has minimal side effects.”

 “We discussed it in Dr. Ganabathi’s office. He told me about it, and I was all for it,” Greeley said. “It was the only good option - the others are surgical.”

Performed at Penn Highlands Brookville as an outpatient procedure, Greeley spent 2-3 hours in the hospital and was home the same day. “Immediately after, two days after, I felt like I always did,” he said. “The only discomfort was having a catheter in for the hours after surgery while I healed… I was back to normal – like I was 25-30 years ago.”

“A lot of people will tell you something will work and it doesn’t. This is one of the few things that does what it says it will do,” Greeley said.

Also, for Greeley, this procedure has meant no more medication.  “No more pills. No more problems. Nothing,” he said. He even sleeps all night long now, and during trips, he doesn’t stop that often. 

For more information, Ganabathi can be contacted at his Brookville office at 814-849-8858. PH Urology also has offices in Clearfield, DuBois and St. Marys. To see more about those locations go to www.phhealthcare.org.