LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (January 15, 2017) – Dr. James Meaglia of Orange County Urology Associates has performed his 150th UroLift® implant on a patient suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a condition in which the prostate enlarges as men age.
More than 500 million men worldwide suffer from BPH each year. One in four men experience symptoms of an enlarged prostate by the age of 55, and that rate increases to 90 percent in men over the age of 70. The most common symptom of BPH is difficulty voiding. Chronic lower urinary tract symptoms associated with BPH can cause loss of productivity and sleep, depression, and decreased quality of life.
Past treatments for BPH meant that men had a high risk of urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction (ED), and retrograde (dry) orgasm. Today, UroLift is a surgical device approved by the FDA in the United States for the treatment of BPH that completely eliminates these potential risks.
Unlike previous BPH treatments, the UroLift system directly opens the urethra without cutting, heating, or removing prostate tissue. It uses tiny metal anchors (like staples) to compress the prostate gland, which opens up the urinary channel that runs through the middle of it.
“This allows urine to flow again normally. Using this new surgical approach, patients experience very rapid and durable relief,” Dr. Meaglia said. “I continue to see excellent clinical outcomes using the UroLift system.”
He added: “This treatment option has been very successful for many of my BPH patients who are unhappy with medication therapy and are concerned about the lengthy recovery and side effects common with other procedures to treat BPH.”
Dr. Meaglia pioneered UroLift in Orange County in November 2014.
He said in certain instances, the procedure can now be done as an in-office procedure. This eliminates the need for anesthesia and a brief hospitalization. An in-office UroLift procedure still takes about 15-20 minutes to complete.
“The risks of the procedure are the same whether it’s done in-office, or in the operating room with anesthesia. There still is no risk of incontinence or impotence,” Dr. Meaglia said.
Patients also experienced a significant improvement in quality of life. The most common adverse events reported include blood in the urine, a burning sensation during urination, urinary urgency, or pelvic pain. Most symptoms were mild to moderate in severity and resolved within two weeks after the procedure.
Medication is often the first line therapy for BPH, but relief can be inadequate and temporary. Side effects can include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, prompting many patients to quit using their drugs. For these patients, the classic alternative has been surgery that cuts or heats prostate tissue to open the blocked urethra. Although effective, patients often require an overnight stay with a catheter for up to a few days following these procedures. There is often a variable period of irritative voiding symptoms before the symptom relief is fully realized. Even the “gold standard” surgery, TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate), can leave a small percentage of patients with permanent side effects such as urinary incontinence or erectile dysfunction. The TURP does, however, have a high risk of retrograde ejaculation (dry orgasm).
In a two-year randomized controlled study of UroLift in 206 people, which was published in Urology Practice (a journal of the American Urological Association), symptoms, quality of life, and urinary flow improved rapidly and remained durable to two years, with only 7.5% of the men who had the UroLift system needing additional BPH procedures. Treated men returned to normal activity within eight days and showed significant improvement in symptoms by two weeks. While urinary symptoms were effectively treated, not a single patient lost ejaculatory or erectile function as a result of the treatment.
By comparison, 65% of men undergoing the standard surgery (transurethral resection of the prostate, TURP) lose the ability to ejaculate.
Important caveat: The UroLift is not appropriate for all men. Some men may have a prostate that is too large, or not ideally shaped, to allow the procedure to be truly effective. An evaluation will be performed by the urologist prior to recommending the procedure to ensure proper patient selection.
“The advent of the UroLift treatment system underscores the need for men with BPH to discuss male orgasmic dysfunction with their doctor prior to treatment,” Dr. Meaglia said.
The UroLift system is available in the U.S., Europe, Australia, Mexico, South Korea and Canada. Learn more at www.UroLift.com.