Q & A with Dr. Jason Phillips
If you are a male over the age of 55, there is a very high likelihood that you may be suffering from a condition more common than prostate cancer – Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, or BPH. We sat down with Dr. Jason Phillips, board certified urologist from North Coast Urology, to discuss BPH and a new minimally invasive treatment option that is changing the way doctors treat this common condition.
Q: What signs and symptoms would suggest that a man could have an enlarged prostate and why does it matter?
A: The prostate is a male reproductive gland about the size of a walnut. As men age, the prostate enlarges pressing on and blocking the urethra. Over 70% of men in their 60s have symptoms of BPH. BPH can cause loss of productivity and sleep, depression and decreased quality of life. It is common for men with BPH to experience symptoms such as a frequent need to urinate both day and night, a weak or slow urinary stream, or a sense that you cannot completely empty your bladder, difficulty or delay in starting urination.
Q: What treatment options exist for enlarged prostate?
A: Treatment options for BPH range from medications to surgery, with minimally invasive options in between.
Medication: Doctors often prescribe medications to manage BPH symptoms. These medications include alpha-blockers which relax the muscles around the neck of the bladder, making it easier to urinate, and alpha reductase inhibitors which act to shrink the prostate.
Transurethral Resection of the Prostate (TURP): TURP is the most common surgery to treat BPH. During this procedure, patients undergo general anesthesia, and prostate tissue is removed. TURP has long been considered the “gold standard” for long-term results. There can be long-term side effects after TURP such as retrograde ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or incontinence (leaking of urine)
Thermotherapies: Are minimally invasive treatments where heat energy such as microwave or radiofrequency is applied to destroy prostate tissue.
Q: Can you explain the new technique called UroLift?
A: The UroLift® System is a revolutionary, minimally invasive procedure to treat an enlarged prostate. It is a simple procedure that does not require any cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue. The procedure can be done in an office setting or in the hospital. A urologist uses the UroLift device to lift and remove the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra. Finally, tiny implants are placed to hold the tissue in place. urolift.com