Urolift Pros and Cons: New York Urology Specialists Experience
Dr. Shteynshlyuger is a board-certified urologist and specialist in the treatment of enlarged prostate and complex urinary problems using minimally invasive approaches. He is the Director of Urology at New York Urology Specialists. He is one of the first urologists in the US and in New York City to offer Urolift as a treatment for enlarged prostate.
What are the Pros and Cons of Urolift Surgery for Enlarged Prostate?
One of the major advantages of the Urolift procedure is that it does not preclude other treatment options such as Greenlight laser, laser enucleation of prostate, Rezum procedure of the prostate or TURP.
Urolift vs Medications
Urolift can often replace medications with similar or better efficacy. Urolift wins on convenience as it’s a one-time procedure.
For some men, Urolift does not work sufficiently well to replace medications. Many men may derive greater benefit from using medications in addition to Urolift and experience better flow and fewer urinary symptoms.
Urolift vs TUPR, Greenlight Laser or Prostate Enucleation
When it comes to comparing Urolift vs TURP, the pros of the Urolift procedure include fast recovery, no sexual side effects (no effect on ejaculation), and ability to perform it in the office under local anesthesia.
The cons of Urolift compared to TURP is that improvement in symptoms is typically not as good as it is with TURP, in particular for men with larger prostates.
There is a fundamental trade-off between minimally invasive treatment such as Urolift and surgery such as TURP or laser ablation of the prostate. A minimally invasive procedure such as Urolift offer a quick benefit with minimal risks, few side effects, and fast recovery but are less effective than surgical procedures such as TURP, Greenlight Laser, HoLAP, prostate enucleation or vaporization of the prostate.
Men who desire maximum benefit and who do not mind side effects of surgery such as lack of ejaculation, would be well served with laser prostate enucleation or laser ablation of prostate; those who want to minimize side effects and recovery time but are willing to accept smaller improvement in symptoms will do well with Urolift.
If Urolift Procedure Does Not Work, Does it Need to be Removed?
Because the Urolift implant is very small and does not seem to cause any problems, it does not need to be removed if the Urolift procedure did not work. It can be removed if other procedures are performed for treatment of enlarged prostate as part of the procedure (Greenlight Laser, TURP, etc).
Summary: Pros and Benefits of Urolift:
- Can be performed in the office under local anesthesia; no need for general anesthesia
- No risk of sexual side effects; no risk of not ejaculating
- Fast recovery – most patients have full resolution of side effects within 2 weeks
- Moderate improvement in symptoms that allows many men to stop medications; improvement in symptoms in combination with medication for many men.
Summary: Cons of Urolift
The expected improvement in symptoms is not as great as can be achieved with surgical procedures such as laser enucleation of the prostate, Greenlight, Holmium laser ablation of the prostate, TURP or open prostatectomy.
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