Advances in treating prostate enlargement

Prostate microwave thermotherapy is an ultra-modern, office-based, non-surgical, one-time long-lasting treatment for benign prostate enlargement. This is the latest in an ongoing series of scientific and technological advances designed to relieve the annoying symptoms caused by this common male problem.

At one time, an enlarged prostate meant the patient had to suffer with a slow stream, hesitancy, interrupted flow, urinary frequency, urgency, incomplete emptying, dribbling at the end of the stream, incontinence, the need to push or strain and sleep deprivation, caused by night-time urination. It is rare for any one patient to have every one of these symptoms all at the same time. The symptoms more commonly occur in different combinations and with varying degrees of severity.

There are also more serious problems that can result from prostate obstruction such as bleeding, urinary retention, bladder stones, infections, bladder and kidney damage, which can eventually result in uremia and death. That’s why it’s important not to ignore these symptoms even if only one or two of the entire list of symptoms occur at a given time, seem to be mild in intensity and transient in nature.

Untreated, the symptoms gradually worsen eventually resulting in painful acute urinary retention, requiring repeated catheterization for relief. Surgery was the only way to help such a patient, which involved hospitalization and anesthesia. Frequently, blood transfusions and a prolonged painful recuperation with catheters and wound healing were required. Over a period of many years, improvements in surgical techniques, instrumentation and anesthesia brought the surgical mortality rate down from greater than 50 percent to acceptable levels.

Unfortunately, surgery usually results in retrograde ejaculation, commonly referred to as “shooting blanks,” varying degrees of impotency and incontinence.

The search was on for a better way to give relief from the annoying symptoms of prostate enlargement and urinary obstruction. It became apparent that the symptoms were related to two different problems of the enlarged prostate. Soon medications became available that could shrink the prostate’s glandular tissue and others to relax the prostate’s muscle tissue to permit the urine to flow more freely.

Many men are satisfied with such a solution to their problem but the medications, which must be taken every day for a lifetime, can be expensive, and can have unpleasant side effects such as impotency. The need for a better solution was met with the development of “TUMT,” Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy. This office treatment does not require anesthesia. It is a one-time long lasting treatment, successful in the great majority of patients.

There are several different microwave treatments available but the safest of all is the FDA approved TherMatrx unit. There has never been a single “SAE,” serious adverse event resulting from the use of this equipment reported to the FDA, the federal agency responsible for the safety and efficacy of medical devices in the United States.

Have a question? Call Dr. Okun 718-241-6767

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