New minimally invasive treatment for urinary symptoms due to an enlarged prostate

In Australia over six million men will suffer from urinary symptoms due to an enlarged prostate.1 These symptoms lead to significant deterioration in quality of life due to constantly interrupted sleep, frequent interruptions of daily activities and can be associated with sexual dysfunction and depression.2

Before now there has been a sizable gap between the treatment options for an enlarged prostate.

At one end of the spectrum, palliative medications can improve urinary symptoms but 30 per cent of men discontinue therapy either due to insufficient symptom relief or bothersome side effects including loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, dizziness, postural hypotension or hormonal imbalance such as breast swelling and/or tenderness.3,4

Until now, the only alternative was ablative surgery to remove prostate tissue either by resection or laser vaporization. These surgical options effectively improve urinary symptoms but also have significant side effects. Common side effects include postoperative bleeding and retrograde ejaculation (most men are able to have erections and achieve orgasm but most are permanently unable to ejaculate). Less common side effects, although devastating, include erectile dysfunction, urinary incontinence and infertility.

The UroLift System was launched in Australia in 2013 to bridge the gap in prostate treatments by offering a minimally invasive alternative that provides clinically proven rapid and durable urinary symptom relief that is two to three times that of medication without the complications of surgery.5,6,7,8

Although the device itself was engineered in California, the surgical technique was developed and refined through clinical research conducted exclusively in Australia. This research was conducted between 2005 and 2013 and has been published in International peer-reviewed journals. More than 800 patients have been treated with over 3000 implants worldwide.

Benefits for patients

  • Minimally invasive procedure with few post-operative complications.
  • Rapid and sustained improvement in quality of life, urinary symptoms and flow.
  • Improved safety and side effect profile compared with alternative surgical treatments.
  • Preservation of sexual function with 0 per cent risk of erectile dysfunction or retrograde ejaculation.
  • Excellent alternative for patients on medical therapy whose urinary symptoms have improved but are troubled by unpleasant side effects.
  • Reversible.

Martin SA et al. Prevalence and factors associated with uncomplicated storage and voiding lower urinary tract symptoms in community-dwelling Australian men. World J Urol 2011; 29(2): 179-84.
Rom M, Schatzl G, Swietek N et al. Lower urinary tract symptoms and depression. BJU Int 2012(110): 918-921.
Roehrborn CG. Current medical therapies for men with lower urinary tract symptoms and benign prostatic hyperplasia: achievements and limitations. Rev Urol 2008;10(1):14-25.
Verhamme KM, Dieleman JP, Biemink GS, Bosch JL, Stricker BH, Sturkenboom MC. Treatment strategies, patterns of drug use and treatment discontinuation in men with LUTS suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia: the Triumph project. Eur Urol 2003; 44(5):539-545.
Roehrborn CG, Gange SN, Shore ND, Giddens JL, Bolton DM, Cowan BE, Brown BT, McVary KT, Te AE, Gholami SS, Rashid P, Moseley WG, Chin PT, Dowling WT, Freedman SJ, Incze PF, Coffield KS, Borges FD, Rukstalis DB. Multi-Center randomized controlled blinded study of the prostatic urethral lift for the treatment of LUTS associated with prostate enlargement due to BPH: the L.I.F.T. study. J Urol 2013: Jun 10. pii: S0022-5347(13)04597-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2013.05.116.
McNicholas TA, Woo HH, Chin PT et al: Minimally invasive Prostatic Urethral Lift: surgical technique and multinational study. Eur Urol 2013(64): 292-299.
Chin PT, Bolton DM, Rashid JG, Thavaseelan J, Yu RJ, Roehrborn CG, Woo HH. Prostatic Urethral Lift: Two-year results after treatment for lower urinary symptoms secondary to benign prostatic hyperplasia. Urology 2012;79:5-11.
Barkin J Giddens J, Ineze P, Casey R, Richardson S, Gange S. UroLift system for the relief of prostate obstruction under local anesthesia. Can J Urology 2012;19:6217-6222.

Justin CheeAUTHOR | Dr Justin Chee
Dr Justin Chee is a Melbourne trained urological surgeon sub-specialising in reconstructive urology based at Epworth Freemasons. Dr Chee was an early adopter of the UroLift System technology for prostatic enlargement and was involved in its post-study introduction into Victoria. Dr Chee has organised several training workshops at Epworth Freemasons and at the time of writing has implanted the most UroLift devices in Victoria.
PH | 03 9317 8741

For more details on UroLift Australia, visit

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