Urolift experience

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Background: I'm 70 and have had a weak stream for over 30 years. Taking .4 mg tamsulosin M,W, & F every week and 81 mg aspirin per day.

Have suffered bladder infections and one prostate biopsy (negative) in years past. Also, I have nocturia. But lately I started using a $12 chin strap during sleep which helped me tremendously. Many times I would wake up to the sound of either my dog changing locations on the bedroom floor or to the sound of myself in the middle of a big snore. Startled just

enough that I'd have to get up and pee.

I finally found a doctor in my area who does the Urolift at the Cleveland Clinic which also happens to be the #1 urology hospital in the country, according to the sign outside their door.

Monday, Feb 19, 2018: After all the pre-testing during two earlier appointments was complete including some blood work, I arrived for the procedure at 10:30 AM. There was a longer wait than I expected, then a urine sample to check for infection (a deal breaker if found), then some more waiting.

When my name was called the nurse gave me one antibiotic pill and a shot in the hip to cover gram positive and gram negative bacteria. I think the pill was in the same family as Cipro and the shot was some kind of "-mycin?". The doctor then injected the

prostate through the rectum, similarly to having gums numbed before a tooth drilling. Was not a very pleasant feeling. I watched the monitor as the "gun" was routed into position and "fired" with a loud click. Then I could see (and feel) as the sutures/stents were cinched down, four times. Also not pleasant, but not as bad as the biopsy which was eight times and each of those stung a lot more.

When it was done, I walked to the john and tried to pee out the water pumped into my bladder. I was very disappointed, expecting to be able to pee like a kid again. Mostly blood dribbled out, with some clots. After the doctor was satisfied that I could urinate well enough, they taught me how to cath myself in case I couldn't pee after I returned home and sent me on my way with a bag full of catheters at around 12:30 PM with a follow up appointment in three months.

My bladder was sore across the pubic hair line from the procedure for the rest of the day. Normally on Mondays I'd have taken a tamsulosin before bedtime, but on this day I simply forgot.

Tuesday: I slept well enough Monday night, only waking once to pee. However, Tuesday morning I couldn't start the stream despite being very full. I was glad to have the catheters. I also took the tamsulosin right away in the hopes it would help open things up. Subsequent voidings were done without need of cathing and the bladder pain was mostly gone. I spent the day taking it easy around the house. I took a second tamsulosin before bedtime.

Wednesday: I got up early and drove to a doctor's appointment (eye doc this time) on the other side of town. After returning home, peeing became more and more difficult and blood clots were getting bigger and more frequent all the time. Although able to pee without cathing, there seemed to be a lot of blood and not very good flow. The clots grew in size from a dime to a quarter.

Thursday: Things seemed to be getting worse, not better, which was what they had warned me would happen. Again, I needed to cath, but the style catheter was different this time and was painful to insert. Eventually, I worked it home and relieved myself. Thereafter, most of the time I could pee without cathing, but was alarmed at the growing size of the blood clots, now a half dollar.

After consultation with my doctor's nurse I was given two options: 1) Return to his office to install a wider catheter to apply pressure to the implants, or 2) Drink more fluids and continue to watch. I chose to drink, drink, drink.

Friday: By now the clots were becoming alarming in size and frequency. So, I skipped the daily aspirin (which my cardiologist would not have approved of me doing, had he known, but I've been eating vegan for six years, following the Esselstyn diet, and felt my artery walls were in no way about to burst and occlude).

I went to Wal-Mart for four quick items in the evening, but as close as the store is to my house (five minutes) and as fast as I got in and ready to check out, I had to put down my basket and run to the men's room where I peed a lot with a fair stream. This after emptying my bladder right before I left home just minutes earlier.

Saturday: Up very frequently during the night before, probably due to all the fluids yesterday. Other than a couple smallish clots in the morning, pencil eraser tip size, my urine showed no trace of blood. I decided to take the aspirin every other day for awhile and the tamsulosin once every day. The strength of flow was weak, about like before the procedure, but with mild burning.

Sunday: No clots or blood at all today. Still had a weak stream, but I remembered how the flow would improve drastically after I passed a big clot. I hope the reason it was weak is because of a remaining clot that will pass after the tissues are repaired beneath them and the stream strength will go back to that of a normal human being.

I felt good enough to go roller skating tonight, which is my usual habit two or three times per week. No problem with sudden desire to urinate like at Wal-Mart two days ago, even

though I sipped coffee the whole evening. Needed to pee before driving home (but that isn't unusual), with a fair stream. Post-procedure, week one complete. Things improved after day four.

For the Cleveland Clinic's FAQ, click here:

https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/2016/09/exploring-urolift-new-minimally-invasive-

treatment-enlarged-prostate/

 

1 like, 14 replies

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    I had the Urolift procedure a year ago (we're about the same age).  Fortunately, I chose the colonoscopy-type anesthesia and didn't observe the surgery.

    My simple advice, keep drinking and watch your physical activity for the first month.

    I am curious about one thing - did your urologist tell you that you have to keep taking the tamsulosin?

    Glad that you are seeing improvement.  Let us know how you're doing.

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    • Posted

      Yes, when I called about my concern over the blood clots the nurse said I could take up to two capsules per day if needed. Other than that, there was no instruction that I can recall about tamsulosin. Maybe the doctor figured, since I was previously prescribed to take it that I would.
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    • Posted

      For me, the combination of the alpha-blocker - tamsulosin - and my blood pressure medicine - valsartan hctz - reduced my ability to exercise.  Eliminating it was one of the reasons that I chose a second surgery (first one 10 years ago).  Some men continue to use it successfully.  I was not one of those guys and I am glad to be off it.  If it works for you, great.  Good luck on your continued improvement.

       

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  • Posted

    Dave things will get better but you were suppose to take it easy the first week.  I had mine done 3 years ago and I  had a catheter.  Because of reading about men that had the procedure and not being able to pee and I have a problem peeing on demand.  My doctor put one in because I would rather have it put in when I am a sleep they awake.  I rested the couple of day while it was in.  I past my clots and spasm them days.  By the end of the second day my urine was pink.  Had the catheter taking out on wednesday.  No problem.  That day I wore a pad.  It burned for 24 hours but I was good to go in a week.  You should all way rest at least the first few day and they tell you no sex for at least 4 weeks.  They want the clips to a hear to the prostate.  Take it easy and do drink a lot of water.  Ken 
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  • Posted

    Good luck on your Urolift...My only comment was that instead of taking Aspirin which I know is recommended by heart people....May I suggest that you look into Garlic tablets instead. They can thin the blood with less chance of the after effects of Aspirin plus Garlic is a good antibacterial agent..Aspirin can also weaken the immune system even in low quantities like your taking. The research is out their on this puppy.

    Take Care ....

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  • Posted

    Whow. Thank you for sharing. Hope no incontenance follows.It;s what turned me on urolift. My urologist didn;t want to talk options. Richard,  Would you do it again?
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  • Posted

    Hi Everyone. Had Urolift(4) with bladder stones removal 10 months ago under iv sedation. Procedure was easy. Don’t remember any of it.  Catheter for 2 days. Lots of bleeding for first couple of days and when I removed catheter at home. Good flow immediately. I was very fortunate. Sore for a few weeks especially sitting. Sex at 2 weeks painful but fine at 3 weeks. Had 1 uti at about 3 months but that was only issue. Still good flow at 10 months and fortunately no meds. Just had checkup and no new stones found on ultrasound. So so far I am happy with outcome and would do it again. I’m 72 and done by local Urologist who does lots of minimally invasive prostate cancer surgery. 

    I’m sure you’ll do well. Gets better with time.    Tom

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  • Posted

    The above link to the FAQ at the Cleveland Clinic didn't copy completely. One more try: https://consultqd.clevelandclinic.org/2016/09/exploring-urolift-new-minimally-invasive-treatment-enlarged-prostate/

    If it still doesn't work, drag and drop to your browser.

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    • Posted

      David.  It came through and i did read it.  I had mine done 3 years ago.  The book that I got was like that but some of the protocol was a little different.  I had mine done in a surgery center.  I had a general and I did have a catheter.  In my book it said that it is up to the doctor to use a catheter.  Some men can pee right after but has the day goes on he may have trouble because the urethra and prostate will be inflamed and that is when you have to go to the ER to have one put in.  I don't know about you but I would rather have one put in when I'm out then when I am awake.  It also said that they are shooting for 5 years.  Which they have all ready gotten with the men in the trails.  But it is the only procedure that will not cause retro because it does no cutting at all.  Now it can cause retro by a untrained doctor.  If when doing the procedure they damage the bladder neck with the bar you can get it.  I was told that by my doctor and by one of the inventors that I talk to once a month.  We all have to do all the research we can on any procedure and I am happy that more men are doing that.  Have a great day  Ken     

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  • Posted

    Good post, David.  Looks like it took roughly a week for your initial basic recovery.  I am considering this procedure and am interested in following your continued progress, improvement and new baseline.
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    • Posted

      Good Afternoon John.  Yes it is a good procedure.  I am going on almost 4 years.  Only took a few week to get back to normal.  One thing I will tell if you have it done ask for a catheter for a few days.  It will help your prostate heal faster and if you can't pee right after It save time running to the hospital to have one put in.  Take care  Ken 

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