What is Urolift?
Going to the bathroom all the time? Do you have to wait to get it going? Or do you dribble even after you try to finish completely? Are you on medications like Flomax or Finasteride for the rest of your life? If so, Urolift may be for you.
This is a procedure that does not involve cutting or removing tissue. Urolift is an in-office procedure used to treat urinary problems associated with an enlarged prostate (also called BPH, or benign prostate hyperplasia). Dr Kella has performed dozens of these procedures and was the first one in Texas to perform the procedure after it was approved.
The most common symptoms of an enlarged prostate include excessive urination at night, urinary urgency, urinary delay, a weak urine stream, urinary dribbling, and a sense of incomplete bladder emptying. BPH is considered benign because in and of itself it doesn’t have any risk factors for disease, but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t cause problems. As the prostate becomes enlarged it begins to block the urethra. As a result, urinary blockage occurs. The bladder can eventually become damaged from the constant blockage from the prostate.
What causes the symptoms of enlarged prostate?
First, imagine a donut. Your prostate is shaped kind of like a donut, only smaller, and it works much the same way when it grows in size. As a donut gets bigger, the donut hole gets smaller. Now, imagine your prostate growing, with the “donut hole” of your prostate shrinking. This shrinking hole becomes a problem with your prostate because within the “donut hole” of your prostate runs your urethral tube. Thus, the shrinking hole puts more and more pressure on your urethra, cinching off its ability to work properly.
How does the Urolift procedure work?
During the procedure, we gently lift your prostate out of the way of your urethral tube without any cutting, and increase the size of the “donut hole” so that you can urinate easily again. We utilize a device that allows us to place tiny and safe sutures around the prostate in order to move obstructive lobes out of the way, like a facelift for the enlarged prostate. So your prostate remains intact. The passageway is just pulled open to relieve your symptoms.
Does Urolift require anesthesia?
There is no need for general anesthesia unless you desire to be asleep. The procedure itself is non-surgical and relatively painless, but can be slightly uncomfortable given the location of the prostate. Some patients prefer sedation to minimize nervousness.
What are the benefits of Urolift over options?
Prior to Urolift, surgery and medication were the only options available to patients needing relief from the uncomfortable urinary symptoms caused by an enlarged prostate. Unfortunately, both surgery and lifelong medication can have undesirable risks and sexual side-effects, making patients wary of treatment. Today, patients have the option for immediate relief of symptoms without surgery or lifelong medication through this Urolift procedure, removing the risk of sexual side-effects associated with surgery and preserving ejaculation.
How do I know if I am a candidate for Urolift?
Are you taking medications like flomax? Do you probably need to be taking medication? If so, you should consider a treatment like Urolift. We can see you in the office and discuss your condition. If we think you may be a candidate, we will order a couple of tests, which allow us to see the size and shape of your prostate. This may require an ultrasound and a look inside your bladder with a small scope. If your prostate is not too large and is shaped properly, we can move forward with the procedure.
Do I have to go to the hospital?
Procedures can be performed right in our office. For in-office procedures, we will make sure you have stopped blood thinners. You will take an enema and antibiotic just before the procedure, and will be typically be administered local anesthesia. The procedure may be scheduled in the surgery center or hospital. Inpatient procedures are performed under sedation or general anesthesia.
What can I expect after the procedure? Do I need a catheter?
Recovery from Urolift is quick; patients walk out of the office right after the procedure. You can resume sex in about two weeks. Most patients will have a catheter for an hour or two after the procedure. This means most go home without a catheter. We monitor you in the office during this time and ensure your comfort while completing final tests. Patients may notice some blood in the urine after the Urolift procedure; this is temporary. Risks are minimal but include possible infection and the chance that the procedure may not work. In our office, we measure and track results from all Urolift procedures. Dr. Kella’s patients report better flow, less urgency and less waking up at night. The Urolift procedure is approved by the FDA.
About Urolift with Dr. Kella
Dr. Kella was the first surgeon in Texas to perform the Urolift procedure for enlarged prostate. He has done dozens of procedures in the office as well as in the operating room.
Does insurance cover the Urolift?
Insurance companies have been slow (surprise) to cover the procedure. Most patients with Medicare or Blue Cross are eligible. We can discuss the latest after figuring out if this is the right option for you.