Men know that changes in the way they urinate are often related to prostate enlargement.
However, some may have very large prostates with no symptoms while others with normal or only slightly enlarged glands suffer with the familiar slowing of the stream, hesitancy, straining, frequency, urgency, intermittency, sleep interruption, and incomplete emptying. These symptoms are grouped together and referred to as prostatism or “LUTS,” Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms. They don’t usually all occur at the same time. Each symptom may come and go from time to time with varying degrees of severity and of frequency of occurrence.
Sometimes, only one or two of the symptoms may be present and sometimes all may work together to make things much more difficult. There are also more serious problems that can result from prostatic obstruction such as bleeding, urinary retention, bladder stones, infections, bladder and kidney damage, which, untreated, can eventually result in fatal uremic blood poisoning.
In the past, the only effective treatment was surgery, 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 mortality rate down from horrific to acceptable levels. Unfortunately, surgery often results in retrograde ejaculation and varying degrees of impotency. The advent of minimally invasive surgery was a major step forward as the TURP, TUNA, and LASER procedures were introduced. Nonetheless, these are all surgical procedures requiring anesthesia in a hospital or a hospital equivalent environment and carry the same postoperative risks.
The search was on for a better way and soon medications became available that could shrink the prostate, others that could relax the muscle tissue in the prostate to permit the urine to flow more freely. Many men are satisfied with such a solution to their problem but medications, which must be taken every day for a lifetime, can be expensive, and can have a variety of unpleasant side effects such as impotency, weakness, dizziness, visual disturbances, and uncomfortable breast enlargement.
The need for a better solution was met with the development of “TUMT,” Trans-Urethral Microwave Thermotherapy. This modern, office-based, non-surgical, easily tolerated, 30-minute procedure does not require anesthesia. The latest in a series of scientific and technological advances designed to safely relieve the annoying symptoms of prostatism, this one-time, long lasting treatment, is successful in the great majority of patients.
TUMT equipment from several different manufacturers is available. Thermatrx®, the safest and most popular in the United States for thermotherapy of symptomatic enlarged prostates is the one I have used for the past eight years. 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 at 718-241-6767