Over half of men over the age of 50 will develop troublesome urinary symptoms affecting their quality of life. These include frequent trips to the toilet, getting up at night to empty their bladder and reduction in the stream of urine flow. As a consequence, men tend to significantly alter their daily lifestyle to accommodate this: avoiding travelling long distances, stopping drinking in the evening and avoiding places where this is no toilet. The sleep disturbance results in many feel fatigued during the daytime.
For the majority of men, the cause is an enlarged prostate gland. Mr Matthew Hotston, Consultant Urologist at Duchy Hospital, says that it is now one of the most common referrals he receives.
For men with minor symptoms, simple lifestyle changes may be all that is required. However, for those with more bothersome symptoms, the options are regular lifelong medication or invasive surgery. Medication can be effective but unfortunately lead to significant side effects, such as reduced libido and erection/ejaculation problems. A significant proportion of men will still require surgery.
The traditional surgical operation is the ‘TURP’ (Trans-Urethral-Resection of prostate). This involves a long general anaesthetic, whereby the internal part of the prostate gland is ‘cored out’. After the operation, a bladder tube (catheter) is placed and the patient stays for two nights in hospital. The risks include bleeding, scar tissue formation and erection/ejaculation problems.
A new minimally invasive daycase procedure called the Prostatic Urethral Lift (‘UroLift’) has recently been approved by NICE in the UK. It involves a short anaesthetic whereby tiny implants are placed into the prostate gland, drawing the lobes of the gland apart to improve the flow of urine. Patients leave home on the same day with no need for a catheter. The research shows excellent results in symptom improvement, early return to daily activities, and no erection/ejaculation complaints.
UroLift is a safe and effective alternative for men who do not wish (or unable) to take medication for their urinary symptoms, or require surgery but want to avoid the potential risks associated with it. Mr Hotston is the first to offer this state-of-the-art procedure at Duchy Hospital.
The Urolift procedure is available on a private basis at Duchy Hospital and costs £4,315. Interest free finance is available, subject to terms and conditions, should you prefer to spread the cost.
For more information visit contact Duchy Hospital or call 0800 917 0022.