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UROLIFT

 

WHAT IS A UROLIFT?

A “UroLift” is a procedure designed to open up the channel through the prostate by stapling the sides of the prostate. It is one option available to relieve the symptoms of an obstructive prostate which may be enlarged (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or BPH).             

 

UroLift is not as effective as a TURP, but has a quicker recovery and fewer side effects/complications. In particular, there is NO risk of retrograde ejaculation or erectile dysfunction. It can be used as an alternative to medical therapy or if you are unable to tolerate or have side effects from the medications.

 

The prostate is a gland in men which sits between the bladder and the urethra (water pipe). It forms part of the male urinary and reproductive tracts. It is essential for normal fertility and produces some of the fluid that makes up semen. If the inner part of the prostate gland can obstruct the urethra during urination, which may result in:

  • reduced urinary flow or dribbling

  • incomplete bladder emptying

  • urinary frequency

  • urgency and occasional urge incontinence

  • getting up at night to pass urine (nocturia)

 

The aim of a UroLift is to relieve this obstruction by widening the channel

through the prostate to allow better outflow from the bladder and therefore

improve your symptoms. The procedure is performed under a general or

spinal anaesthetic. A fine instrument called a cystoscope is placed into the

urethra and a special device is used to deploy implants (staples with a suture between them) to the sides of the prostate.

 

Note – not all men’s prostates would be suitable for a UroLift and a cystoscopy will need to be carried out first to check if this treatment option would be effective for you.

 

WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER THE PROCEDURE?

  • At the end of the operation, a thin tube (catheter) is inserted into your bladder, which drains urine into a bag. The catheter is usually removed the following day.

  • Bladder spasms – due to the catheter. Sometimes medications are required if these are severe.

  • Burning when you pass urine is common and can last up to a week. You can take Ural sachets to help with this.

  • Bleeding – this usually reduces over time, but can be intermittent and should stop after 1-2 weeks.

  • Other urinary symptoms (eg. frequency, urgency) can last for up to 4 weeks after the procedure.

 

WHAT ABOUT DIET?

  • Drink plenty of fluids (8-10 glasses or 2-3 litres, unless you are on a fluid restriction due to a heart condition)

  • Avoid acidic drinks such as orange or cranberry juice which may increase burning, stinging and irritate the bladder

  • Eat a diet high in fibre to prevent the need for straining when using your bowels

 

WHAT ABOUT EXERCISE/ACTIVITY?

  • You should be able to return to normal activities and work within 1 week

           

WHAT ABOUT MEDICATIONS?

  • You can resume your usual medications

  • If your blood thinning medication was stopped, your Doctor will let you know when to recommence

  • You can take 1-2 paracetamol every 4-6 hours for pain and discomfort (no more than 8 in a day)

  • Ural sachets (urine alkaliser) available from chemists and supermarkets, reduce acidity of the urine and provide relief from symptoms such as burning and stinging

 

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?

  • Significant bleeding, possibly with clots – it is usually  possible to flush the blood through by increasing your oral fluid intake

  • Urinary retention (unable to pass urine) – if this happens you must go to the Emergency department

  • Urinary infection

  • Urinary symptoms do not change – sometimes surgery does not cure your urinary problems. Occasionally things get worse before they get better. You may need further investigations or surgery.

  • Urinary incontinence – this is rare with UroLift and associated with urgency. It is usually temporary and improves after a few weeks-months.

 

NOTIFY GEELONG UROLOGY or your GP if you experience any of the following:

  • Heavy bleeding – urine that looks like pure blood

  • Increased discomfort, severe pain and burning when passing urine

  • Cloudy or offensive urine

  • Fever (temperature over 37.5 degrees), chills, shakes or feeling generally unwell

  • Increasing difficulty or unable to pass urine

 

FOLLOW UP APPOINTMENT

Your doctor will generally speak to about the results of the procedure before you are discharged home and an appointment for your follow-up will be organised. If an appointment time is not given to you on discharge from hospital, you will need to phone Geelong Urology to make an appointment.

 

If you have any queries please contact Geelong Urology on 03 5229 9105 during business hours OR leave a message on the After Hours Urology Paging Service 03 9387 1000