New procedure offers faster relief from prostate problems

Urolift Team

Caption:From left to right: Sam Datta (consultant urologist, Colchester Hospital), Nihal Jayasooriya (associate specialist urology, Colchester Hospital), Mark Rochester (consultant urological surgeon, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital), Rajiv Pillai (consultant urological surgeon, Colchester Hospital), Zaf Maan (consultant urologist, Colchester Hospital).

27 December 2017

Patients with prostate problems can now receive fast, effective treatment which allows them to return quickly to normal life after Colchester Hospital began offering a new, less-invasive alternative to major surgery.

The procedure, called a “UroLift®”, is being used to treat patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is a common condition affecting one in three men which causes the prostate to enlarge and press on the bladder, causing difficulties with urination.

Minimally invasive and straightforward, it sees a urologist place tiny implants in the body to hold the prostate lobes apart and relieve compression, allowing urine to flow normally again. Performed using local anaesthetic, the procedure takes just 10 minutes to complete and can be carried out in either an operating theatre or outpatient setting. Patients get almost instant results and able to return home the same day.

It is estimated around 75% of the 300 BPH patients who require surgery each year at Colchester will be suitable for the UroLift® procedure. The remainder will have either laser treatment or an operation called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), both of which remove part of the tissue and were previously the only surgeries offered for BPH at the hospital.

Rajiv Pillai, consultant urological surgeon, worked with colleague Sam Datta to bring the procedure to Colchester. He completed the first five cases earlier this month, and received excellent feedback from patients.

“BPH can greatly affect a man’s quality of life, as it can mean they have to get up frequently in the night to use the toilet, can be caught short or have poor flow and trouble urinating,” said Mr Pillai.

“This new procedure will allow us to treat more men quickly and safely. Unlike other treatments, the UroLift® does not involve the removal of tissue so does not need a general anaesthetic, which reduces risk. It also causes less pain and means patients can recover much more quickly, in turn helping to free up our operating theatres and beds for more complex cases.

“The UroLift® also brings added benefits for younger patients as it does not compromise sexual function. The results are also instant, which means the patient can return to work after just a couple of days off.

“In addition, the procedure only takes around ten minutes to complete, whereas laser treatment can take up to three hours and a TURP around 90 minutes. That means we can potentially treat far more men each day than we could previously, in turn ensuring they receive prompt treatment while improving their experience of receiving care at Colchester Hospital.”

Although BPH is more common in men aged 50 and over, it can affect people of any age. Any man who is having difficulties urinating should seek advice from their GP.