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When to Consider Minimally Invasive Treatment for BPH

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When medications no longer work, or their side effects can no longer be tolerated, and a man does not want to have a TURP procedure (transurethral resection of the prostate), then it’s time to consider a minimally invasive heat treatment. Making use of advanced technologies, researchers have developed equipment to help reduce the size of the prostate— relieving symptoms in the process—without actually cutting the gland. The two most popular thermotherapy and thermal ablation treatments, in which heat above 140 °F is applied to the prostate to destroy the overgrowth of tissue surrounding the urethra, are radiofrequency energy (called transurethral needle ablation, or TUNA), and transurethral microwave thermotherapy (TUMT).

Currently there isn’t one procedure that stands out as being better than the others. Therefore, when considering treatment, don’t search for a urologist who performs a particular procedure or technique. Instead, focus on the doctor’s qualifications and the number of patients treated by the practice each year. Here’s why: A urologist performing a minimally invasive procedure is like a plumber with his toolbox. The plumber may not have every tool available, but he knows how to fix many problems and he’s very familiar with the equipment in his toolbox.

The goal of the urologist is to open up the channel (urethra), and a good urologist is going to fix this problem with the most effective tool available, be it a microwave or a radiowave. Trust your doctor, who has chosen a primary piece of minimally invasive equipment and is an expert in using it to successfully remove tissue from the prostate and increase urine outflow. 

A brief look at the options

TUMT (transurethral microwave therapy) uses a small antenna to emit microwave energy that heats the prostate to a temperature above 110° F. A cooling system in the catheter protects the urethra from heat damage. 

TUEVP (transurethral electrovaporization of the prostate) uses a resectoscope fitted with a small grooved roller at the end to deliver electric current that vaporizes prostate tissue.

TUNA (transurethral needle ablation), TUIP (transurethral incision of the prostate), and PVP (photoselective laser vaporization of the prostate) all involve inserting an instrument through the resectoscope that delivers either low-level radiofrequency energy (TUNA) or laser energy (PVP or TUIP) to vaporize excess tissue. Some versions of TUIP use a miniature electric knife rather than a laser to cut the tissue. Shields in the instrument protect the urethra from heat damage. 


Posted in Enlarged Prostate on March 29, 2016

Medical Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute for the advice of a physician. Click here for additional information: Health After 50 Disclaimer

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"Currently there isn't one procedure that stands out as being better than the others." Assuming this statement is referring to effectiveness in relieving symptoms of BPH, are there any data concerning pain and recovery time among the many procedures described?

Posted by: AndyGpost | March 29, 2016 8:41 AM

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