Urolift Procedure - February 2017

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To give back to the onlilne community, I want to pass on some information about my Urolift procedure for BPH.

First the patient - I am 68, 6ft 172 lbs.  I have had one BPH operation about 10 years ago (TUNA) from the same doctor who did the Urolift.  Other signifcant conditions - HBP and hypothyroidism treated by medicine,  Fairly active physically.  Working very part time.  Enjoying my children and, especially, grandchildren.

Impetus for the procedure - failure of tamsulosin (less than 1 year) to improve flow and with unsatisfactory side effects.

Confirmation procedure - Physician did a cystoscopy 4 weeks before the procedure to confirm this procedure was correct for the geometry of my prostate.  Topical pain medication used.  Was recovering well.  Soreness while urinating was going away after a couple days.  Was given 1 antibiotic pill.  Either from my anatomy or something I did, it wasn't enough and I developed a urinary tract infection.  Very painful 7-8/10.  Needed additional anti-biotic.  In a follow up visit 1 week before the Urolift procedure, things were better and we decided to go forward.

Urolift - Pre-Op:  Was told to stop medicines (including herbal) that would contribute to bleeding - e.g., low dose aspirin and Lovaza (gen).  I stopped the few other herbals that I took.  Continued with the thyroid (levothyroxine) and BP (valsartan/hctz) - the latter was stopped the day of and taken later when I got home.

Surgery location - like many, this was done in an ambulatory surgery center, not a hospital.  In my case, the center was run by the urology practice.

Procedure:

Cost - I am not going to focus on cost, because everyone's coverage is different.  As I understand it there are 3 bills - urologist, anaesthesiologist, facility.  The latter asked for a same day payment.  The others bill.

Procedure schedule - 1:30 pm s

1)12:30 pm -- Reception review and confirmation of information and stoppage of food/water/medicines 12 hours before procedure

2) 1:00 pm -- prep for surgery, viitals, IV started.  Met with urologist for last minute questions (mostly on activity after the operation).  Met with anaesthesiologist - she doubled checked food/water stoppage and looked in my mouth (I realized post facto looking for dentures).  Administered fetanyl - following was told by others

3) 1:30 procedure - was told it would take 30 minutes.  My wife was shown before and after polaroid of the opening of my prostate.  What she described looked like the photographs in the Urolfit pamphlet.

4) 2:30 pm approx - As I came out of the fetanyl, I was not as groggy as I expected.  Strong urge to go, but nothing coming out. I walked to the bathroom myself holding onto the pole containing the saline feed for the IV.  I had 4 bloody (medium) urine drops come out.  They said that was enough.

5) Given instructions on post-op procedure - primarily minimal activity for a week.  I was given the ok to do walking.  Which I tried 2 days later.

6) Prescribed antibiotic for 5 days.

Ride home - I live 30 min. from the surgery center.  We had plotted places to stop in case I needed to before I got home.  Did not have to stop.

First day - very sore starting and stopping urine flow.  Later that day it seemed flow was stronger, but hope might have colored my perception.  Ate sourdough waffles (my wife is great) late afternoon.  Ate a light dinner later. Forced myself to drink more water than I usually do (thanks to my wife) Sat up.  Couldn't go to sleep until 3:30 am.  Slept for 2 hours.  Went to the bathroom. Slept for 2 hours.  Note on clothing.  Since I expected some bloody urine, I bought and used Depend pads for a couple of days until the blood stopped.

2nd day - soreness about the same as the cystoscopy procedure.  Sign of blood was fading (didn't want to look too closely, though).  Stream seems to be stronger (my wife said she could hear it too).  Once I get the urge to urinate, I have to get in there fast.  Urine flow starts quickly.  Had to change pants once as I was not careful.  Stopped the use of the Depends pads as there was no blood visible and I started having better control of the stream.

I will post follow ups.  I am scheduled for a Uroflow PVR (check of flowrate) and urologist follow up two weeks after the procedure.

I am writing this to help people who are faced with the decision on what to do with their BPH.  I am not an advocate for one procedure or another.  This is a personnel decision.  As you know, this is anecdotal.  We are all different.  Yet, we are also all the same.  I would like to thank the others who have posted on this forum.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for posting your experience so far, hope you continue to have a good outcome. Why did you decide to go with urolift as opposed to prostate artery embolization or focal laser ablation
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    • Posted

      Richard,

      You are more knowledgeable than I am.  I have been using the same urologist for 10 years.  He performed the TUNA (needle ablation) 10 years ago.  It was partially successful.  But, as my prostate grew, the night time trips to the bathroom increased.  By the time that I reached the point where something should be done (I was 67), I was under medicare rules.  I don't know if that was why he tried tamsulosin.  I tried it for a few months.  At first I didn't understand why I couldn't run any more (recreational jogger).  Then I started to understand how an alpha blocker worked.  The alternatives he discussed with me was Urolift and TURP.  It is quite possible that he does do PAE.  In fact, it wasn't until after my procedure, I started reading more posts on this site that I actually found out about PAE.  In my case, I stuck with a known urologist and took his advice.  I wish you good fortune on your choice.  Another procedure might be best for you.

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  • Posted

    Thanks mark for your detasiled post. Best wishes for a speedy recovery
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    • Posted

      Thanks,  soreness has gotten continually better.  The 2nd night was great - slept 6 hours straight (partially because I only slept 4 hours - interrupted half way with a bathroom trip).  The 3rd night was disappointing - up 3 times.  Recovery is not always linear.  But, I am very glad to be off the tamsulosin.
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  • Posted

    Thanks, this is a well-described anecdote, and very useful for others.  My experience was similar.  Within less than a week virtually all symptoms resolved in my case.  After settling down post-op, I had to aim carefully to avoid surprises, because the stream was so much stronger than previously, with impromptu cleaning up around the toilet.  Now, a little less than a year post-op, I notice the stream slowing, but still a major improvement, with very little trauma.   Several reports are here about doing a 2nd urolift procedure, but so far it doesn't look likely that it'll be necessary in my case.  

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    • Posted

      Though, the observations on this site are anecdotal, they can help us make an informed decision.  My report is a small pay-it-forward for the help I have received.  Whether successful for me or not, this information could help someone make a better decision.
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  • Posted

    Congratualtions Mark,

    Sounds like things are shaping up for you. I wish you luck. I had the proceedure over a year ago and there was not a bit of improvement not to mention the very uncomfortable (to say the least) "recovery" process.

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  • Posted

    I had a Urolift procedure that irritated my urethra, caused acute urinary retention and hydronephrosis ending up with me catherizing to prevent kidney damage. The procedure was a complete failure. Ultimately had a PAE with Dr Bagla which was a stellar success and I am no longer catherizing and am urinating totally normally.
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    • Posted

      Michael , I have had the Uro lift procedure on June 16 and I have not been able to urinate yet and I am still on a catheter. I have gone into the Doctor to do an attempt to void twice. I don't know what to do has anyone else had this problem ? Should I continue this process? I am 66 yo and in excellent shape. I am full of fear and desparate for advice . What is a PAE ?

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    • Posted

      Ronald sorry for your issues; i have similar ones.

      I have also had a similar experience. I am 57 and had a urolift 10 days ago. After operation I could not pee so went home with a catheter. On the 3rd day they took it out and I could pee fine. However, on waking up on the 4th day i was bleeding at the penis and I could not pee. Back to the clinic and catheta put back in. That night catheta stopped working and rushed to ER. The cause was blood clots jammed up the catheta (althought no explanantion for the bleeding). I stayed in hospital for 2 days being irrigated and then they took out the catheta and sent me home. I have been home 6 days but having terrible trouble peeing (averaging 20cc which is nothing), continually feel bloated. The only time I pee ok is if i have a couple of strong cocktails (not sure why that is, it may be something to do with relaxing).

      Anyway sorry no good news here but I am sure there are a lot of people also having significant complications. It just goes to show that even the simplest operations don't always go as expected.

      Gary

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    • Posted

      Hi Ronald and any one that is reading my comments.

      I had the URO-LIFT done 1 month ago, the procedure was uneventful, and I was attached to an in dwelling catheter, given 4 antibiotic pills and 12 pain pills and sent home, the next day a visiting nurse came to my home and removed the in dwelling catheter, and regretfully I have to report the URO-LIFT was a total failure,and my urinating has gotten worse than before I had the URO-LIFT, I visited my urologist 2 weeks after the URO-LIFT, and he didn't say anything one way or another about the post URO-LIFT procedure and it not working for me, he just increased the dosage of the Terazosin from 2 mg to 10 mg, and told me to come back in 5 weeks, currently I have a lot of pain when urinating and can only urinate with an intermittent catheter, and I still have to use Terazosin, 10 mg once a day that was prescribed by my urologist, and the Terazosin has many bad side effects

      I am in my mid 70s, 185 lbs, 6 ' and in relatively good health, and still active, I have never had any surgeries, only the URO-LIFT, I think that the pre URO-LIFT analysis and advice that was given to me by my urologist and the marketing literature that was given to me  was misleading, not complete, and not accurate, and the failure rate was not told to me, I think that the FDA, Medicare and the Insurance companies should review this procedure and clearly publish the success and failure rate for the URO-LIFT.

      Currently I am using the intermittent catheter 3 to 5 times a day and my symptoms are frequent, painful, urgent need to urinate, when I try to urinate without using an intermittent catheter I have to push so hard that it causes a slight defecation from the other end, and only a small dribble of urine comes out for a very small amount of time,  but a lot of times no urine comes out, I can tell that my bladder is not anywhere near to emptying as I can still feel the urgency and pain and the need to void much more and then I use the intermittent catheter, I don't know what to do right now but I will have to use the intermittent catheter and try to find a treatment or cure that will suit my BPH.

      My suggestion to anyone considering having the URO-LIFT, do a lot of research and don't just rely on your urologist, consult the FDA, Medicare, and your Insurance Company, and pay particular attention to what your prostate measurements are, get 2 or 3 more opinions, don't go to a factory style urology clinic, I was attracted to the URO-LIFT because it was the least invasive treatment with no post procedure after effects, and it meant I didn't have to take anymore drugs, but the symptoms I have now are worse than before I had the URO-LIFT

      Cost to me for URO-LIFT, approx $1,200,----cost to Medicare, approx $10,000,------ cost to my private insurance $0

      Good Luck to all that are considering having the URO-LIFT and congratulations to all that have had the UR0-LIFT with a successful outcome..

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    • Posted

      I have to do surgical revision to try to end bad effects of urolift...I would never go near that snake oil again. Procedure hospitalized me for a week to save me from infection.......My advice ...STAY AWAY FROM IT
      Report Reply
    • Posted

      Thanks jim54917, I have decided to tough it out with frequent urination and try the 5 mg/day Cialis with .4 mg Tamsulosin. I have a friend that says this is effective.
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    • Posted

      Hi Willy, I tried to live with the frequent urination but I was getting up 4 to 6 times during the night and urinating approx.15 times during the day, I had to sit on the toilet and use very aggressive force to attempt to urinate,  and I eventually ended up with a UTI that traveled into my kidneys and developed sepsis because even though I was urinating small amounts during the day and night it wasn't enough to empty my bladder and the urine was pooling in my bladder and that's what caused the infection, we are all different and it's great that this works for you, the cialis sounds like a fun way to treat the problem, though it might be a little pricey, I tried the Tamsulosin, Terazosin, Rapaflo at different times but the side effects were awful, I also was on Finasteride for 7 months but that didn't work for me either, but like I said we are all different, I hope that your successful with your trial treatment.

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    • Posted

      BCBS refused cialis without a letter of medical need.  MD told me refusal  that option opened door to a 16k office procedure, A another stay at  the hospital and still dealing with after effects ...Good Luck Willy
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    • Posted

      Hi Joe, Willy, Jim, Mark and others visiting this site. This is a wonderful Forum and everyone is only trying to help everyone else out. I have been visiting this Forum is November 2018, I was real close to getting the Uro Lift procedure. I decided to try other medication first. I am currently on Alfuzosin 10 Mg. and the low dose Cialis. Been on this medication for approx. 4 months, frequency has gotten slightly better, no side effect from the Alfuzosin, Just for those that don't know, I use the Generic version of Cialis, I order it through Canadian Pharmacy and its a lot cheaper. Just an FYI for everyone.

      Congratulation for those that has had the procedure and are happy, and good luck for those that had the procedure that are unhappy. This Forum is Awesome !!

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    • Posted

      Hi joe i live in wales in UK I have bhp but on 08/06/18 I had Greenlight Laser surgery I now pee like a horse,it is at the moment the right decision that I made to have this operation the cost was £ 5,650 as I had it done privately at the moment I dont take any meds ,but because of the urgency to pee I am seeing the surgeon on thursday and he said I have an over active bladder so he us going to put me in some meds to hopefully stop the urgency I will keep you posted.

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    • Posted

      Hello John,

      That is what got my situation started, I went to a Urologist to discuss Greenlight Laser because of frequency and double stream issues. The Dr. I seen did not do Greenlight, that's when he gave me a phamplet on Uro Lift. I know people that's had Green Light and love the end results and no complications. I think that procedure has been tried and proved for many many years. That may be the procedure for me if and when.

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    • Posted

      Hi the Eurolift operation is new in the UK but it came to late for me but I am glad I had the GL surgery my love life came back to me after 3 weeks.small problem whit urgency to void the surgeon is going to put me on some meds on thursday to overcome this,will keep you posted.
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    • Posted

      Bobbya - Glad you found this forum helpful.  I wish you (and the others) the best in finding the best way for you.
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    • Posted

      10+years ago, I had a surgical procedure TUNA - a needle ablation.  It worked for a while, but gradually the frequency of the trips to the bathroom increased - not to the point you suffered, but enough that I wasn't getting enough sleep.  Tamsulosin (Flomax) was awful for me but works for others.  While the urolift was successful (for now) for me, I know that it is not (as are the other alternatives) successful for everybody.  I hope you find one that works better for you.  I take comfort in believing that we are helping our sons and grandsons find a better solution.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mark,

      THX for your input and it's good to hear that the URO-LIFT worked for you.

      I am researching the many procedures for BPH treatment and right now I am using an intermittent catheter, it's a pain in the neck but if I had known that the URO-LIFT was going to be a total failure for me I would have just remained using a catheter, they do work but the negative point about them is I have to be constantly aware of a UTI, OHHHHHHHHH but what a relief they are.  :-)

      Good Luck

      Report Reply

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