The prostate is a small gland, about the shape and size of a walnut. It sits beneath the bladder and surrounds the first section of the tube that carries urine from the bladder through the penis (urethra).
The main function of the prostate gland is as a male reproductive organ. It produces the fluid that mixes with the sperm from the testicles to make semen. It also produces a protein called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) that turns the semen into liquid, enabling it to be expelled during ejaculation.
The prostate gland is only found in men and gets a little bit bigger with age. The medical terms for an enlarged prostate are Benign Prostatic Enlargement (BPE), alternatively referred to as Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).
An enlarged prostate causes the walls of the urethra to narrow and squeeze together resulting in urinary retention, with symptoms such as slow urine flow and a need for frequent urination.
An enlarged prostate has a significant impact on a man’s quality of life. Sufferers may find that they need to stay near a toilet, which can make it difficult to work, drive, be outdoors and attend social events. If you are getting up a lot during the night to go to the toilet, you may find you feel more tired during the day.
The condition is common in men after the age of fifty, with about 40% suffering urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate. That figure rises sharply to approximately 70%, for men over the age of sixty.
An enlarged prostate is the most common cause of urinary symptoms in men as they get older.
BPH can lead to urinary retention problems with symptoms such as:
If you have been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate and suffer from urinary symptoms, there are several treatment options available.
These medicines relax the muscles in the prostate and around the neck of the bladder, making it easier to pass urine. They do not cure an enlarged prostate but they can help to relieve symptoms.
Like any medicine, some patients may experience side-effects including dizziness, headaches, or sexual dysfunction. Also, some may not get adequate relief of their symptoms. Over 20% of men on medication for enlarged prostate discontinue treatment early for reasons such as being dissatisfied with side-effects or not getting adequate symptom relief.
Urolift® Surgery is an innovative new treatment for enlarged prostates (BPH) which helps with symptoms such as urinary retention and slow urine flow.
Further information on the patient pathways and treatments offered is available at specialist Kingsbridge Prostate Clinic website.
The Urolift® System is a revolutionary approach to treating benign enlarged prostate. Urolift® Surgery is an innovative and minimally invasive new treatment for enlarged prostates which helps with symptoms such as urinary retention.
The treatment involves lifting and holding the enlarged prostate tissue out of the way so it no longer blocks the urethra. It is the only procedure for an enlarged prostate that does not require cutting, heating or removal of the prostate tissue.
The prostatic urethral lift (PUL) procedure using the Urolift® device is now available at Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Belfast and is carried out by our consultant urologist Mr. Ajay Pahuja.
The Urolift® system procedure is a revolutionary, minimally invasive procedure. It is a very quick procedure, usually taking less than thirty minutes. Urolift also differs from other enlarged prostate treatments in that there is no cutting, heating or ablating tissue involved which means the treatment preserves sexual function.
Patients are normally able to leave the hospital within a few hours of the operation and can return to normal activity as soon as they feel confident to do so. Patients have experienced BPH symptom relief, such as relief from urinary retention and slow urine flow, as early as two weeks post operation.
Thermotherapies are minimally invasive treatments where heat energy such as microwave or radiofrequency is applied to prostate tissue. Less invasive than major surgery TURP (see below), these treatments are generally safe, can be performed under local anaesthesia and provide moderate symptom relief for some patients.
TURP may be performed with a laser in procedures called photoselective vaporisation of the prostate (PVP). Laser therapy lessens the bleeding risks of traditional TURP. However, since prostate tissue is still removed, there can be tissue swelling and an uncomfortable healing time and, typically, a catheter has to be inserted into the bladder after the procedure.
This is an operation to remove the parts of the prostate gland that have overgrown and are pressing on the tube that you pass urine through (the urethra). It is the most common type of surgery for treating an enlarged prostate.
The surgeon passes a thin tube into the urethra through the penis. The tube has a small camera on the end for the surgeon to observe the prostate. An electrically-heated wire loop is then passed through the tube to remove small pieces of prostate tissue. During the operation, fluid is passed into the bladder to clear away the small pieces of prostate tissue that have been removed. After prostate tissue has been removed, the body needs time to heal. The remaining prostate tissue may actually swell and become inflamed before the desired shrinking effect occurs. Patients may suffer an uncomfortable recovery period that includes short-term problems such as bleeding, infection, erectile dysfunction, and urinary incontinence. Patients will have a catheter that is attached to a urine bag inserted into their bladder for several days after the procedure.
There can be long-term side effects after TURP such as dry orgasm (retrograde ejaculation), erectile dysfunction or incontinence (leaking of urine).
Many men have had their lives transformed by the Urolift® system for treatment of urinary retention caused by their enlarged prostate conditions.
Business owner Philip Dawson, 59, suffered weeks of constant and debilitating discomfort, pain and distress as a result of a non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland that led to serious urinary problems.
Philip chose to have the ground-breaking UroLift procedure when the symptoms of his BPH reached an acute stage and he developed a urine infection. Prior to undergoing the treatment Philip rarely wanted to leave his home and was always careful to be close to toilet facilities in case he felt the urgent need to go. The UroLift procedure took less than an hour and enabled him to quickly get back to leading a normal life again. In a matter of weeks, he was back on his motorcycle and back running his business.
Read the full account of Philip’s Urolift Treatment and how he got back on the road after having the ground-breaking enlarged prostate treatment.
When retired engineer and keen golfer, Bob Jesse, started suffering difficulty in passing urine and reduced flow he was given tablets to help alleviate his urinary retention. While the drugs worked well for a few years, they gradually became less effective and his flow began to deteriorate again.
Bob ended up in hospital while on holiday with his wife because he was unable to pass water at all. After flying home, he was referred to a consultant urologist and was offered TURP, but chose UroLift because it meant he could be out of hospital the same day. He underwent a 15-minute minimally invasive procedure using the UroLift system, which transformed his life and made a huge difference to his symptoms. Prior to the treatment he felt that going to the loo seemed to take hours whereas now he has normal function and is no longer taking medication.
Read the full account of Bob’s Urolift Treatment and how he got back in the swing of things after having the newly-approved UroLift prostate operation that helps men turn the taps back on.
The UroLift® System is a new minimally invasive treatment designed to treat lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) due to enlarged prostate gland, otherwise known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
The UroLift System consists of a delivery device and tiny permanent implants. This unique technology works by directly opening the urethra with tiny implants that hold the enlarged tissue out of the way. No cutting, heating, or ablating tissue is involved, making the UroLift System the first and only BPH treatment that does not remove prostate tissue and preserves a man’s sexual function.
The UroLift System is a new treatment option for patients who are looking for an alternative to drugs or major surgery such as TURP/Laser treatment. Or, perhaps, you are dissatisfied with or have stopped taking medications. UroLift is appropriate for patients seeking a minimally invasive treatment and who are concerned about preserving their sexual function and their quality of life.
In general, the UroLift System is a minimally invasive treatment with minimal downtime. Your doctor will use the UroLift delivery device to deploy permanent implants to relieve obstruction caused by the enlarged prostate that is pressing on your urethra. The procedure may be performed under local or general anaesthesia and you may be given medication to feel comfortable during the treatment. Typically, no catheter and no overnight stay is required post-treatment.
Following treatment, the overwhelming number of patients go home the same day without the need for a catheter. There is minimal downtime post-treatment and most patients experience symptom relief in as little as 2 weeks. Some urinary discomfort may be experienced during the recovery period. The most common side effects may include light blood in the urine, some pain or discomfort when urinating, some increased urge to go and discomfort in the pelvis. These typically resolve within two to four weeks after the procedure. Your doctor will discuss with you how quickly you can return to your normal physical activities.
In clinical studies sexual function has been preserved among the hundreds of patients treated. This is a unique benefit of the UroLift System treatment compared with other BPH therapies such as TURP, laser, and even medication.
The UroLift Implant is a permanent implant, and the treatment is intended to be permanent. Durability has been shown to last at least 4 years in U.S. clinical data. One significant benefit of the UroLift System is that it does not preclude retreatment or other BPH treatments, should that be needed and desired in the future.
The implant is made of standard surgical implantable materials: a nitinol capsular tab, a stainless steel urethral tab, and polyester suture that holds the two tabs together. If required, your doctor can simply remove the implant. The suture can be cut and the urethral end-piece can be retrieved with a standard grasper.
No. The implants are placed on the anterior (front) side of the prostate, and a DRE is conducted on the posterior (back) side of the prostate. The implants are not expected to interfere in a DRE.
Over 950 patient-years of clinical data has been presented in peer-reviewed publications to date demonstrating that the UroLift System is safe and effective. Clinical studies have been conducted in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia.
Yes, typically health insurance covers the UroLift treatment when medically necessary. The first step is to make an appointment with your urologist to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for the treatment.
A urologist, a doctor specialising in the treatment of diseases of the urinary system and sex organs, uses the UroLift System to treat urinary symptoms due to enlarged prostate. The urologist completes comprehensive training prior to using the UroLift System.
Urolift® treatment is available at Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Belfast and is carried out by our consultant urologist Mr. Ajay Pahuja
"I had surgery here at the weekend and I can't recommend this place highly enough. They took great care of me and kept me at ease throughout my stay. The staff were brilliant, really friendly and chatted away and the food was top class. This hospital was better than any hotel I wonder could I book a weekend away in it when I fully recover?" Mr McGinnity, Kingsbridge Patient
"EXCELLENT - Had surgery today under the very caring Dr Stewart and her team. I cannot thank her enough for all she’s done for me over the past few months. Everything was explained to me in detail and all my care was considerate, professional and compassionate. Everyone I’ve met today has been beyond kind from Will the Anaesthetist, the Nurses and theatre staff, the catering staff - there has been no exception. Thank you all for taking care of me so well today - look forward to getting home tomorrow x" Mrs McAleavey, Kingsbridge Patient
"Hospital spotless and clean. Staff were so caring couldn’t do enough for me and made sure I was comfortable. Give the place 10 out of 10. Had surgery yesterday and treatment was first class" Ms Demirtas, Kingsbridge Patient
"Their service was excellent and convenient location!" Ms Kneale, Kingsbridge Patient
"Just received surgery at this hospital and I couldn't have been made to feel any more comfortable from the minute I stepped in until the minute I left. All the staff are wonderful and so friendly I will highly recommend this hospital to everyone" Ms McGivern, Kingsbridge Patient
"Had eye surgery here twice for cataracts and lens replacement. Super smooth service from start to finish. Very happy" Ms Jones, Kingsbridge Patient
"As hospitals go this one is pretty amazing! Had surgery with Mr Molloy at the end of October and have another one the end of this month. Mr Molloy is a gentleman who puts you at ease right away and ensured my last procedure went smoothly! From start to finish all the hospital staff go above and beyond to make your stay as comfortable and stress free as possible. The facilities are brilliant with the rooms spacious and modern to recover in. Keep up the good work!" Ms Roulston, Kingsbridge Patient
"My mother had a total hip replacement surgery. We stayed for three days and were discharged today. Honestly, words can't describe the quality of the job and care they do. The doctors Roger Wilson, Sherman, David, the nurses Susan, Sinead, Siobhan, Andrea, the catering staff who provided customised halal food, and the remaining team whose names I cannot remember were the kindest, nicest, politest, the most caring, professional and pleasant people we have ever come across in healthcare environment. These are true gems and real stars. We are indebted to their treatment.
They are 7 star people. We love you!" Mr Yourish, Kingsbridge Patient
"Great friendly staff the nurses go way and beyond. The hospital is spotless, and the service is second to none." Ms Croke, Kingsbridge Patient
"Currently just back from recovery on the ward. I have just had ACL reconstructive surgery on my left knee. What can I say? This place is brilliant. I arrived at 8.35am, taken to the ward at 8.45am (my admission time was 9am). Tended to by a lovely Nurse. Dr Roger Wilson spoke to me around 9.45am, in Theatre for 10am, recovery for 11.10am and now currently back on ward. These guys are awesome. From the consultant to anaesthetist to nurses to cater assistants. Absolutely brilliant. Thank you so much. I am so grateful to everyone at Kingsbridge for the service." Mr McNicholl, Kingsbridge Patient
"I just had a total hip replacement done by Mr Molloy. He made me feel totally at ease (a real gentleman). I had 1st class treatment and as for the staff they couldn’t do enough for me. My experience was excellent from the time I arrived until the day I left for home. Thanks a million to all involved." Miss Bennett, Kingsbridge Patient
"Excellent experience with Kingsbridge Hospital, my dad had a day procedure here recently and not only did he receive fantastic care, but so did myself and my mum. The staff were so understanding and without saying anything could see I was looking after my mum also who has dementia, they went above and beyond to make the time spent waiting on my Dad as pleasant and stress free as possible, I will never forget the extra mile they went to, to support us. Many thanks x" Ms Forde, Kingsbridge Patient
"I have just been discharged from Kingsbridge today after surgery and was in for 3 days. From start to finish my experience was excellent. From catering staff up to senior nurses and doctors they were all fantastic and made my stay a positive experience. As a nurse myself I probably have high expectations of care and I certainly experienced the best of care in Kingsbridge who have staff they should be proud off. Great teamwork." Ms Armstrong, Kingsbridge Patient
"I recently had my gall bladder removed. All of the staff I had to deal with were excellent and professional. It was the best treatment I have ever received." Ms Burrows, Kingsbridge Patient
"I got my tonsils out yesterday, all the staff were so pleasant and nothing was too much for them. I really did receive one to one care. They just had so much time for me. The food was lovely and the staff from the kitchen where first class. Glad I received my surgery here." Miss Wright, Kingsbridge Patient
"The service and staff are first class. Had my cataract operation done on the 20th of January and I would like to thank all the staff of this fantastic hospital for giving me my life back. You are all a credit to your profession. Excellent service and I would highly recommend you. Once again thank you so much and I am truly grateful to you all." Mr Doolan, Kingsbridge Patient
"Amazing 5-star hospital. Have had other surgery here before on my back.
Yesterday's was a neck disc replacement operation. I would highly recommend this hospital like a hotel manner. Thanks again guys." Mr Phillips, Kingsbridge Patient
"I recently got an MRI scan at Kingsbridge and was very impressed with how simple the process was and how little time I had to wait. The staff were friendly, and it was an all-round pleasant experience." Mr Sharkey, Kingsbridge Patient
"Can’t praise Kingsbridge Private Hospital enough!! I had an operation a couple of weeks ago and I was so well looked after. My surgeon Mr Rashid was fantastic, and the nursing staff was also fabulous. I found they communicated very well to each other, so everyone knew when my meds were due, my allergies etc. They were so kind, so lovely, constantly checked to see how I was i.e. my temperature etc. The food was fabulous and the catering staff very helpful having had an operation were very happy to accommodate ... Thank you to all!" Ms Cheong, Kingsbridge Patient
"Staff very friendly and very efficient. Surgeon and surgery top class. Big thanks to the Nurses for all their care and patience" Mr Howard, Kingsbridge Patient
"I was in your facility yesterday for a day procedure (operation on my left arm). I wanted to write and express how impressed I was with the facilities and more importantly the staff on the Ward.
Everyone was excellent, and I mean excellent, i don't normally write congratulatory e-mails so this is high praise in my view. The Senior nurse was excellent, as was the Theatre nurse and the anaesthetist. Even the assistants that helped with catering and other duties. All came together to form a great impression of the establishment." Jason Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Kingsbridge Patient
Help & Support