Urolift: Outpatient surgery for enlarged prostate promises relief from frequent urination

Dr. Nicholas Boncher, left, of the Center for Men's and Women's Urology in Gresham, with Urolift patient, Richard Fenn. (KATU)

A new FDA-approved outpatient procedure for men 55 and over who suffer from frequent urination promises immediate relief from an enlarge prostate without painful surgery or a long recovery.

As men age, their prostate glands grow, often narrowing the urethra and leading to frequent urination.

For Richard Fenn, that often meant getting up three or four times a night, which led to fatigue for both him and his wife.

Dr. Nicholas Boncher, a Gresham urologist, suggested the Urolift procedure.

“As men get older and are done having kids, it becomes a useless organ in a lot of ways,” Dr. Boncher of the Center for Men's and Women's Urology in Gresham said. “But because of its location and it's directly around the urethra, the older you get, in general, the more advanced your symptoms become.”

The procedure, while not pain-free, is much less invasive than surgery.

Doctors widen the urethra as it passes the prostate gland and use a small implant to hold it open.

“You can see you're driving down this tube, and it looks wide open and you get to the prostate and all of sudden there's tissue blocking it,” Boncher said. “It makes sense. Guys are mechanical and they say, ‘I see it.’ If you move that out of the way, things are going to be better."

For Fenn, the visuals convinced him to go forward.

"You see the pictures, I saw the videos that are online, there's the promise of relief,” he said.

That relief came almost immediately. Fenn said he used the restroom at the doctor’s office before heading home.

“I feel better all around, and things work better and attitude is back,” Fenn said.

Dr. Boncher said that the outpatient procedure takes about an hour under local anesthetic.

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