For years, TURP (transurethral resection of the prostate) has been the gold standard for surgical treatment of an enlarged prostate. TURP has quite a long recovery period and does carry a risk of retrograde ejaculation (at least 70%) erectile dysfunction (10-30%) and rarely incontinence of urine (approx. 2% risk).
Other newer options are available, such as laser ablation, which produce a similar result, but don’t yet have the long-term track record of TURP. An interesting addition to treatment options is the Urolift, which may overcome some of the problems with TURP, and avoid the risks of erectile dysfunction, retrograde ejaculation and incontinence.
The video below demonstrates the Urolift procedure:
A recent study reported 12-month results of a randomised trial of Urolift versus TURP in 80 men. The study used a composite questionnaire to assess outcomes, including symptom relief, preservation of erections, ejaculation and continence and safety. Urolift compared very favourably to TURP and those patients who had the Urolift procedure responded significantly better than those having TURP. A limitation of the study is that the questionnaire needs to be validated as a reliable measure in other studies before it is widely accepted.
A further report of 3-year results of the L.I.F.T study of 206 patients has demonstrated preserved sexual function with improvement in symptoms, urinary flow and quality of life.
Side effects of the prostatic lift were mild and short term, with the most frequent being blood in the urine, a temporary burning when passing urine, temporary pelvic pain, and urgency of urination. Sexual function was preserved with no incidence of new, sustained erectile or ejaculatory problems. Only 15 of 140 subjects who had the Urolift needed an additional procedure over the course of three years.
The diagram below gives an outline of the results from different studies, and is reliable data. Note that the makers of Urolift produced this diagram.
If you would like to know more about the Urolift procedure please contact Nick Brook at our Calvary North Adelaide Hospital consulting rooms.
- Sønksen J, et al. Prospective, Randomized, Multinational Study of Prostatic Urethral Lift Versus Transurethral Resection of the Prostate: 12- month Results from the BPH6 Study. Eur Urol (2015), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.eururo.2015.04.024
- Roehrborn CG et al. Three year results of the prostatic urethral L.I.F.T. study. Can J Urol. 2015 Jun;22(3):7772-82.
This information is intended as an educational guide only, and is here to help you as an additional source of information, along with a consultation from your urologist. The information does not apply to all patients.
Not all potential complications are listed, and you must talk to your urologist about the complications specific to your situation.