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Prostatic Urethral Lift (Urolift System)
A prostatic urethral lift
is a minimally invasive procedure to widen your urethra. The procedure is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate. Prostate tissue is held away from both sides of the urethra with permanent implants. This helps make it easier for you to urinate. A prostatic urethral lift may also be called the UroLift® System.
How to prepare for this procedure:
- Your healthcare provider will tell you how to prepare. If you are having general anesthesia, your provider may tell you not to eat or drink after midnight before the procedure. Arrange to have someone drive you home after you are discharged.
- Tell your provider about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicine for the procedure, and when to stop. If you take blood thinners or aspirin, you may be told to stop about a week before the procedure. Your provider will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of the procedure.
- Tell your provider about all your allergies, including antibiotics and anesthesia. Tell him or her if you know you are allergic to stainless steel, nickel, or titanium.
- Your provider will talk to about what to expect when you have sex. You may feel a slight pulling sensation when you ejaculate. It should not be painful, and the pulling feeling should get better with time.
What will happen during the procedure:
- Local anesthesia is usually used for this procedure. You may also be given medicine to help you relax during the procedure. General anesthesia may instead be used to keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. You may feel some pressure or feel like you need to urinate during the procedure.
- Your healthcare provider will insert a resectoscope through your urethra. A resectoscope is a tube with a small monitor on the end. The monitor shows your prostate on a screen during the procedure. Your provider will put a device into your urethra. He or she will guide the device up to your prostate. The device will be used to lift and move prostate tissue away from one side of your urethra.
- An implant will be placed to hold the prostate in the new position. Your provider may place 2 to 4 implants. He or she will do the same to prostate tissue on the other side of your urethra.
What to expect after the procedure:
- You may have some pain in your pelvis or blood in your urine. You may have burning when you urinate. You may feel like you have to urinate urgently or more often. These effects are all expected and should get better within a few weeks.
- Your BPH symptoms should start to improve within a few weeks of the procedure.
Risks of a prostatic urethral lift:
You may have incontinence (leaking urine). Scar tissue may build up. You may have trouble having sex, or develop a condition called retrograde ejaculation. This means semen goes into your bladder when you ejaculate. You may have blood clots in your urine that block your urethra. The procedure may not prevent your BPH symptoms from getting worse. You will be able to have a different procedure or surgery to help with symptoms.
Call your doctor or urologist if:
- You have a fever.
- You see blood clots in your urine.
- You have trouble urinating.
- You have pain or blood in your urine for longer than you were told to expect.
- You have trouble getting an erection or ejaculating.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Rest as needed. Your healthcare provider will tell you when it is okay to go back to work or do your usual activities. This may be as soon as the day after your procedure.
- Ask when it is okay to have sex after the procedure. You may need to wait a week or longer so the procedure area can heal fully. You should not notice much of a change during sex. You may notice a pulling feeling when you ejaculate. This should get better with time.
Bladder management after the procedure:
- Urinate on a regular schedule. This will train your bladder to hold urine longer. A larger amount of urine may make it easier to urinate.
- Drink less liquid during the day. Do not have liquid for several hours before you go to sleep. Do not drink large amounts of any liquid at one time. Limit alcohol and caffeine. These can cause problems with bladder control and increase your need to urinate.
- Do pelvic floor muscle exercises. Pelvic floor muscle exercises, also called Kegels, may help improve your bladder control. These exercises are done by tightening and relaxing your pelvic muscles. Ask how to do pelvic floor muscle exercises, and how often to do them.
- Lose weight if you are overweight. Obesity increases your risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA can make you need to get up in the night to urinate. Exercise can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. You can break the 30 minutes up into shorter blocks of exercise throughout the day.
Follow up with your doctor or urologist as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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