Going Less and Living More

A new procedure addresses common prostate problem

A 15-minute procedure under light sedation is restoring quality of life to men living with prostate issues.

An enlarged prostate, which commonly affects men in their 60s, causes frequent urination and, in particular, the need to urinate multiple times during the night. The loss of sleep can cause a loss of productivity, depression and decreased
quality of life.

The new procedure, known as “Urolift,” provides more immediate improvement and causes fewer complications than other options available, explained VMC urologist Marty Prah, MD.

“The Urololift is newly approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but it has been in development and testing for several years, and it has been proven to last at least five years,” Dr. Prah explained. “It is a quick, easy procedure that offers significant benefits over previously available procedures – and it doesn’t cause incontinence or other worrisome side effects. We are seeing a success rate of over 90 percent.”

The “gold standard” for addressing prostate issues has been a procedure called transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), which cuts away tissue blocking the urethra and bladder. However, Dr. Prah noted, this procedure has a small but real risk of incontinence and other side effects.

Another treatment option has been thermal therapy in which a catheter is inserted into the urethra and the prostate tissue is heated in order to remove the excess tissue that is blocking urine flow. This procedure is also effective, but can take three or four months to produce symptom relief, while the Urolift is effective within days.

“This is the ONLY treatment that does NOT carry a risk of retrograde ejaculation or lack of ejaculation, because the procedure preserves the bladder neck,” explained VMC urologist Joseph Chidi, MD, who also performs the procedure.

“To date, all previous treatments, even medication like Flomax, produce retrograde ejaculation. There is zero chance of impotence with Urolift, and the urination symptoms are greatly improved.”

The procedure is covered by Medicare, but is not yet covered by private insurance in California. It is expected that insurance coverage will be in place in California within a year or two.

For information, or to make an appointment, call VMC at 739-2000.


 

 

 

A happy Urolift patient
“I was up and out and seeing improvement within a couple of days!” says Dr. Prah’s patient Dennis.
“I had frequency problems for quite awhile, probably a year,” Dennis recalls. “My doctor referred me to Dr. Prah and he told me about this procedure. There was a little discomfort at first, but I don’t have to urinate nearly as often. The Urolift got rid of the problem and I can sleep through the night now.”


How does the Urolift work?
The surgeon places small, permanent implants into the prostate to lift and hold the enlarged tissue out of the way, which relieves pressure on the urethra and allows urine to flow.

There is no cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue required, which results in fewer complications and less downtime for patients.

The brief, safe procedure eliminates the need for medications, has no known side effects and does not require a catheter.

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This group of diabetics and family members meets monthly at 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at Visalia Medical Clinic, 5400 West Hillsdale Avenue and discusses a variety of topics to better manage diabetes. Cost to attend the one-hour meetings is $5 per family. Meetings are led by Susan Smith, certified diabetes educator. $5 per family 739-2087.


Visalia Medical Clinic offers flu shots. The federal Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a shot. There are certain people who are more strongly encouraged to get a shot, including seniors, those with chronic lung disease such as asthma or COPD and people with diabetes or kidney disease, to name a few.

Also known as pertussis, this is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that can be very serious for infants. To make an appointment at Visalia Medical Clinic for the vaccine, call 739-2000.

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A schedule of check-ups and age-approriate screenings for men and women.
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Visalia Medical Clinic’s team of pediatricians has added a new resource to our web site. This is a new developmental screening tool for parents to use.