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Prostate Cancer: Enlarged Prostate

How Is BPH Treated? continued...

Minimally invasive treatments include:

  • Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy (TUMT). Microwave energy delivers temperatures above 45 degrees C (113 F) to the prostate by way of an antenna positioned in the prostate using a special catheter (tube). Cool water circulates around the catheter which protects the urethra and helps keep you reasonably comfortable throughout the procedure. The entire procedure is computer-controlled, based on temperature recordings obtained in the urethra and rectum. This technique is performed in your doctor's office and takes approximately 90 minutes. Patients are generally given medicine to prevent pain and relieve anxiety. The most common complaints during the treatment are an urge to urinate and a burning sensation in the penis. There are two programs: "standard treatment" or "high-energy" treatment. High-energy treatment delivers more energy to the prostate, which generally provides better results and improved flow, but patients are likely to have more side effects in the recovery period.
  • Interstitial Laser Coagulation. ILC uses a specially designed laser fiber to deliver heat to the interior of the prostate. The laser fiber is inserted into the prostate using instruments placed in the urethra. The procedure is usually done in the operating room, under anesthesia to numb the pain but not put you to sleep. This technique allows the surgeon to view the prostate directly and to treat specific areas of enlargement.
  • Transurethral Needle Ablation (TUNA). This technique uses low-level radiofrequency energy delivered through two small needles to ablate, or burn away, an area of the enlarged prostate.
  • Transurethral Electrovaporization. This technique uses electrical energy applied through an electrode to rapidly heat prostate tissue, turning the tissue cells into steam. This allows the doctor to vaporize an area of the enlarged tissue and relieve urinary obstruction.
  • Intraurethral Stents. Stents (wire devices shaped like springs or coils) are placed within the prostate channel (where the urethra runs through the gland) to help keep the channel from tightening around the urethra.
  • UroLift system. The UroLift system is the first permanent implant used to treat BPH. It works by by pulling back the prostate tissue that is pressing on the urethra and impeding urine flow. Two studies of men with the system showed a 30% increase in urine flow and participants reported a decrease in symptoms and a better quality of life in the two years after the study.

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