The prostate is an organ that holds a unique significance in a man’s development from childhood to adulthood. It grows larger as the male grows older, and it’s typically with age that men begin to experience complications. For healthy adult males, the expectation is that the prostate won’t grow much larger than the size of a golf ball, but for others, it can grow significantly larger. This excess growth causes Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH). As the prostate grows larger, it puts increasing pressure on the urethra, resulting in the thickening of the bladder wall. This becomes the starting point of BPH, and issues relating to incontinence.
Treatment usually involves lifestyle changes or medication. It’s also not uncommon for minimally invasive procedures, or other surgeries, to be used as forms of intervention. This article will compare three common BPH treatment options: HoLEP, TURP, and Urolift.
Holmium Laser Enucleation of the Prostate (HoLEP)
During a HoLEP procedure, a physician uses a laser to remove part of the prostate tissue that’s squeezing the urethra and causing a blockage. HoLEP is an effective solution for relief for BPH patients who want to spend as little time as possible preparing, going through, and recovering from the treatment. A patient gets back to their normal routine, mostly, in the space of two weeks.
A downside to this treatment is that there is a 16% to 44% chance of incontinence reoccurring within three months following the surgery. However, if you’ve tried other common BPH treatments and haven’t found success, then you may be a suitable candidate for HoLEP treatment. This procedure may also be the preferred treatment option for patients who take blood-thinning medications as well, given that patients taking such medications aren’t often cleared for other surgical procedures. Be sure to discuss your unique case and symptoms of BPH with a physician.
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP)
Similarly, a TURP procedure serves to mitigate the effects of an enlarged prostate on the urethra. The treatment involves passing a resectoscope through the urethra, where an electrically heated piece of wire then cuts away the necessary sections of the prostate to relieve pressure on the urethra. A catheter is then inserted into the urethra and flushed with fluid to help clear removed pieces of the prostate.
The TURP process is done under local anesthesia and typically takes about sixty to ninety minutes. As an inpatient procedure, the length of the hospital stay is generally two to three days. Patients are usually advised to avoid any strenuous work including, but not limited to, driving, exercise, and sex during the first few weeks of recovery. Normal functionality can be expected to return within about six weeks. A TURP procedure does affect ejaculation, but not the sensation that accompanies it. Some men have reported having trouble, temporarily, controlling their bladder. Erectile dysfunction and UTIs are also possible, but rare.
Undertaking this procedure is best for patients facing stronger BPH symptoms, and is ideal for males who no longer have wishes to procreate. Consult with a physician to determine your candidacy for a TURP procedure.
A UroLift procedure lifts an enlarged prostate by way of tiny implants and ensures the urethra is not blocked. Nothing in the form of cutting, removal, or heating of prostate tissue is necessary to conduct UroLift treatment.
One of the most desired benefits of a UroLift procedure is the preservation of normal sexual function. It can also be performed under local anesthesia. Similarly beneficial, recovery times and the resumption of normal, daily life are often much faster than other surgical procedures.
Side effects from this treatment are among the mildest. They include a burning sensation during urination, blood in the urine, painful urination, or lower abdominal pain. However, these tend to resolve within 2 to 4 weeks of their first appearance.
UroLift works for any man currently dealing with BPH, especially younger men looking to maintain their sexual activity.
Comparing BPH Treatments
Each of these procedures is effective in treating BPH. What sets them apart are the recovery times, risks, and costs. If you’d like to return to your daily routines in the shortest time possible, then HoLEP may be a suitable option. TURP, on the other hand, brings the fewest risks and complications and is often used to treat issues brought on by the other treatment options.
Consulting with a physician will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of each procedure, including risks, postoperative symptoms, and what to expect during your recovery period.
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