Why In-office BPH Procedures Make Sense
Many men suffer from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or enlarged prostate. It becomes more common as a man ages with approximately 50% of all men experiencing it by the age of 50 and 80% by the age of 80. And while the condition is not life-threatening and only in rare cases medically problematic, it can be very limiting. Those who suffer from BPH may have difficulty urinating or may experience urinary incontinence. They may limit activities because of the psychological impact that such problems have on one’s psyche. BPH can also cause frequent urination, especially at night and many patients report going to the bathroom up to a dozen times, which not only is terribly disruptive, but also causes fatigue and tiredness throughout the rest of the next day. Many patients visit their urologist in a panic believing that they may have prostate cancer and for the vast majority, this is not the case. It is worth remembering that early stages of prostate cancer do not present with urinary symptoms similar to BPH. However, this reassurance does not address the underlying cause of the enlargement and the resultant symptoms.
Medication and Supplements
Medication and herbal supplements have, in their own individual way, been marketed very heavily for the improvement or resolution of enlarged prostate. However, herbal remedies have no proven beneficial effect. While medication may have short term beneficial effects, side effects are often problematic, and medication simply doesn’t treat the underlying cause of the enlargement.
For patients who do not have well-controlled BPH under medication, we can start to discuss in office therapies. These are long-term effective solutions that reduce the amount of prostatic volume in a relatively straightforward 15-minute procedure with minimal downtime and very few side effects.
Dr. Engel specializes in an in office BPH procedure known as Transurethral Needle Ablation or TUNA. This procedure uses radio frequency waves to ablate or destroy the excess prostatic tissue. The procedure is relatively comfortable and very quick. Most importantly, the procedure is a free swing. And while we can’t expect it to be a home run – something that will last forever – we can expect a double, to use a baseball analogy. In other words, we can reasonably expect five or more years of relief with minimal side effects and the option to perform the procedure again once symptoms begin to return. On the other hand, if the procedure is not successful, it does not preclude Dr. Engel from performing any other, more invasive obstruction relieving procedure such as a transurethral resection of the prostate or TURP.
Of course, as with any procedure, there are risks and these will be discussed during consultation with Dr. Engel. However, the tuna represents an excellent option for many patients suffering from BPH. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Engel and learn more.