Stones buried within the flesh of the prostate can be present for years without symptoms. Prostate stones found on sonography are usually a big surprise for the patient. That’s because most of the time, such stones reside “silently” within the prostate gland, located at the base of the urinary bladder.
Sometimes prostate stones are not silent, especially when associated with infection or inflammation. Then symptoms of burning on urination, urinary frequency, weakness of the stream, pain on urination, pain on ejaculation, deep pelvic pain as well as pain in the back and between the scrotum and the anus can occur in varying combinations and degrees of severity.
Recurrent urinary tract infection can occur when prostate stones act as a source of persistent bacteria. The bacteria are difficult to reach with antibiotics, because the germs live protected in the microscopic niches of the stone. When bacteria cannot be demonstrated, the condition may be referred to as nonbacterial prostatitis and when the pain is very severe, it is labeled prostatodynia.
Years ago, when such conditions persisted, despite adequate, prolonged and appropriate antibiotic therapy, and the symptoms became unbearable, radical surgery with complete removal of the prostate and all the stones was the court of last resort.
Today, transurethral microwave thermotherapy is a non-surgical alternative to such a drastic course of action. This is an effective, safe and durable treatment for many patients suffering from prostatitis with or without prostate stones, who have been unresponsive to traditional therapy. It is easily performed in the office, since no surgery, anesthesia or hospitalization is required and the patient goes home able to urinate without a catheter.
Further, unlike the consequences of the surgical approach, there is no impairment of the patient’s sex life in the vast majority of cases. A reduction in the severity of symptoms is usually noticed within a few days followed by a gradual but progressive and lasting improvement over the next few months.
For the treatment of “chronic prostatitis,” the NGC (National Guideline Clearing House), a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, created by the Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with the American Medical Association gave microwave thermotherapy their highest rating, Grade “A”. So prostate stones are not to be feared and are certainly not an automatic indication for surgery.
Transurethral Microwave Thermotherapy or “TUMT”, used for many years for the non-surgical treatment of symptomatic benign prostate enlargement should therefore also be used for the treatment of prostatitis. There are several different types of “TUMT” equipment available but the safest of all, the most popular and the one I have successfully used for the past eight years is the TherMatrx unit. There has never been a single instance of a serious adverse event occurring as a result of the use of TherMatrx equipment reported to the FDA.
Have a question? Call Dr. Okun 718-241-6767