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The Urolift system

The urolift device represents a new approach in trying to improve men’s waterworks symptoms that relate to obstruction by the prostate gland. Traditional techniques aim to create a wide channel through the prostate gland but this is with the inevitable cost of a period of healing with associated symptoms (burning, irritation of the waterworks and haematuria) and therefore a variable but inevitable delay in return to normal activity. Furthermore there is a significant risk of some impact on sexual function, be it the development of a dry orgasm (retrograde ejaculation) or indeed decrease in quality or even loss of erectile function i.e impotence.
'The urolift device aims to widen the channel throught he prostate with minimal damage to surrounding tissues, meaning a very rapid return back to normal activity as less healing is required compared to the standard procedures and no impact at all on sexual function.'
Not all men will be suitable for this device; those with very large prostate glands or those with certain anatomical shapes of the water pipe and prostate gland are unlikely to benefit and initial evaluation with an ultrasound scan and telescopic examination of the water pipe, prostate and bladder are needed.

The Procedure

During the UroLift system procedure, the UroLift system is inserted through the tip of your penis and into the tube that carries urine from your bladder (urethra). The UroLift system has 2 parts: an implant comprised of a metal tab on either end of a suture (stitch) and a specially designed delivery device that allows the doctor to place the implant in your body. The UroLift implants are made of materials commonly used in surgery. The small metal ends secure to either side of the prostate and are connected with a piece of suture material. The sutures are designed to pull back the sides of the prostate gland so that the tube that carries urine from the bladder (the urethra) is opened and not squeezed shut.
'The implants are intended to stay in your body forever.'
During the procedure, a fine needle will be passed through the side of the urethra and into the prostate. The UroLift delivery instrument will then be used to place the UroLift implants through the needle to pull back the sides of the prostate gland and open the urethra. Typically, a procedure involves placement of at least 4 sutures but dependent on the size of your prostate and the suture location, you may require more or less.
The procedure can be performed under a standard general anaesthetic or indeed using topical local anaesthesia alone. However, as we have gained greater experience, intravenous sedation has become the approach which seems to work the best , allowing accurate placement of the implants and a rapid recovery for the patient. We have now moved to the point of trying to avoid the post operative passing of a urinary urethral catheter ie a tube to drain urine after the operation – although whether it is because of a little more than acceptable levels of bleeding or just bad luck, about 20% will need a catheter. This is usually left overnight before removal. Although by no means everybody’s experience, most people describe not only a very rapid recovery from this procedure, back to all normal activities in 1 to 2 weeks or sooner, but also, about 70% describe substantial improvements in urinary symptoms within 3 weeks.