Men's Health

Men’s Health Questions Answered: What is the Urolift Procedure?

Dr. Arnold D. Bullock, MD

Men’s health topics are important to discuss with a doctor, but for many men it is difficult to have these conversations with their health care provider. Discussing sex, prostate health and hormonal imbalance can be uncomfortable, but understanding these and other conditions, and how they affect overall health, is critically important for every man.

Arnold Bullock, MD, Professor of Urologic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis specializes in men’s health. He encourages men to ask their questions and engage in honest conversations with their doctors. To help start this conversation, Bullock explains one of the treatment options for men with voiding dysfunction: the UroLift procedure.

What is UroLift?

The Urolift System is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that uses implants to relieve prostate obstruction and open the urethra without the need for cutting, heating or removing prostate tissue. UroLift allows us to take this swollen prostate tissue, and create a channel for the urine to flow through. The way I describe it to my patients is that the implant is like a toggle bolt.

Who is a good candidate for UroLift?

Men often come to my office saying: “Doc, I’ve been on a combination of a shrinking drug and a relaxing drug for six months, and I’m still bothered with the way I urinate.”

And sure enough, their flow rate is slow, they’re holding on to more urine in their bladder than they should, and they’re bothered by their symptoms. They want more relief!

There are several simple, effective options with low risk available for patients with BPH. One of those options is UroLift. It’s a quick outpatient procedure that doesn’t require a catheter or overnight stay. There’s minimal pain after the procedure.

An important part of my practice is choosing the right procedure for the right patient. Not every man is a candidate for UroLift, so taking the time to understand the patient’s condition and consider all of the available options is an important first step.

What are the side effects of UroLift?

In the clinical studies, the most common side effects reported were mild to moderate, and included pain or burning with urination, blood in the urine, pelvic pain, urgent need to urinate and/or the inability to control the urge. Most symptoms resolved within two to four weeks after the procedure.