As we age, we often find ourselves suffering from various urinary symptoms. For men over 60, these symptoms could be signs of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate begins to enlarge over time.

If you suffer from urinary symptoms such as a weak urinary stream or a sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder, you are not alone. BPH symptoms are found in over 70 percent of men over the age of 60 and can greatly affect a man's quality of life.

At Providence, our urologists and specialists offer a new and advanced treatment called UroLift® for the men in our community who suffer from BPH.

The UroLift System is a clinically proven procedure used to permanently treat the lower urinary tract symptoms caused by BPH.

The treatment utilizes tiny implants to lift and hold the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way, so it no longer blocks the urethra. There is no cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue whatsoever.

The ultimate goal for UroLift is to provide men an alternative to drug therapy or more invasive surgery. The procedure is able to treat BPH without compromising urinary health and preserving a man's sexual function.

BPH mostly affects the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. When someone has BPH, the prostate, which surrounds the urethra, enlarges and presses on the urethra, causing uncomfortable urinary symptoms such as:

  • Frequent need to urinate both day and night 
  • Slow urinary stream 
  • Delay in starting urination 
  • Urgent feeling of needing to urinate 
  • A urinary stream that stops and starts

The UroLift System is typically administered in your physician’s office and requires minimal downtime. The procedure may be performed under local or general anesthesia and you may be given medication to ease the procedure.

The UroLift System consists of a delivery device and tiny permanent implants. During the procedure, your urologist will use the UroLift delivery device to directly enter the urethra and access the enlarged prostate.

The device then deploys permanent implants called retractors to hold the swollen prostate tissue out of the way. The implants are made of standard surgical implantable materials: a nitinol capsular tab, a stainless-steel urethral tab and polyester suture.

Once inserted, the implants help relieve obstruction without cutting, heating, or ablating tissue, making the UroLift System the first and only BPH treatment that does not negatively impact a man’s quality of life.

Downtime after the treatment is minimal and almost all patients go home the same day without a catheter. Patients can experience symptom relief in as early as two weeks.

Compared to other BPH treatments like greenlight therapy or transurethral resection, UroLift provides an equal amount of relief with fewer side effects. Still, UroLift carries potential complications and risks. These include hematuria, dysuria, micturition urgency, pelvic pain, urge incontinence and slight urinary discomfort during the recovery period. Most symptoms reported are mild in severity and resolve within two to four weeks after the procedure.

UroLift implants are also MRI conditional, which means they will not interfere with MRI machines as long as they meet specific conditions. Please be sure to inform your doctor of your UroLift implant prior to undergoing an MRI scan.