Revolutionary new treatment for enlarged prostrate
Posted Feb 23 2012 6:21pm
This week’s Daily Mail features a revolutionary new treatment that Doctors have devised treatment for enlarged prostate that involves placing a tiny anchor in the gland. One in four men over 80 will have been treated for an enlarged prostate.
The anchor treatment has been developed to treat an enlarged (non-cancerous) prostate, a condition also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate often becomes larger with age, causing symptoms such as reduced or weak urine flow, or frequent night-time urination. The prostate is a doughnut-shaped gland that sits around the urethra as it exits the bladder. It often becomes larger with age, causing symptoms such as reduced or weak urine flow, or frequent night-time urination. There may also be hesitancy, and a feeling that the bladder isn’t empty.
Although current treatments can improve the symptoms, there are potential side-effects. With drug treatments these include sexual dysfunction, dizziness and headaches, as well as decreased libido and one study found that more than a quarter of men stop drug treatment early, mainly due to adverse events and lack of effectiveness.
The gold-standard surgical technique is called transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP. Research suggests that erectile dysfunction rates post-surgery can be as high as 30 per cent, performed under general anaesthetic, the technique involves cutting away a section of the prostate gland. However, research suggests that erectile dysfunction rates post-surgery can be as high as 30 per cent.
The new technique, called Urolift, is a minimally invasive way of pulling back the overgrown prostate tissue to widen the urethra to allow normal flow to return. In the procedure, which is carried out under local anaesthetic, a plastic tube is inserted into the urethra and pushed through to the part of the urethra that has been narrowed. This movement widens the urethra, but it would soon narrow again once the tube was removed. To prevent this happening, the inserted device contains a special needle.
Once the device is in place in the middle of the gland, the surgeon triggers the device to send the needle through the surrounding prostate tissue to the outside of the gland. The needle is threaded with surgical thread. At the other end of the thread there is a tiny anchor which secures it on the inside of the gland. The thread is then pulled tight, pulling the gland away from the urethra, taking the pressure off.
New research shows the treatment can be highly effective, in a study carried out at centres in Australia, including the University of Sydney, 64 men who had suffered with urinary tract problems for an average of five years underwent the treatment. The results show there was an average improvement in prostate symptoms of 60 per cent across the men.
This was based on the International Prostate Symptom Score or IPSS which measures a number of factors including urine flow and none of the men had sexual functioning problems as a result of the procedure. ‘This study demonstrated that meaningful relief can be achieved without compromising sexual function with a minimally invasive mechanical therapy,’ say the researchers.