April 2, 2018
What kinds of problems do you treat in your work as a consultant urologist?
I deal with all forms of urology which covers a host of areas including problems with urinary tracts in both men and women, prostate enlargement, prostate cancer, and so on. With prostate problems, it is much more common for these to be benign rather than being cancer, but I would always urge men to get checked out if there are any concerns at all. For benign conditions, treatment can be a simple procedure.
How has the treatment process changed?
Over the past four years or so, there has been an advance in technology to create a new means of treatment for prostate obstruction called the Urolift. Spire was one of the first centres in the UK to introduce this to patients and I was part of the original research and trial of this, alongside colleagues in the US. From the start, it has proved to be excellent. I have been impressed how well it has gone. It has now become a simple procedure of 20 minutes or so which has minimal side effects, and patients can go home straight away. Previously, this would be an hour-long operation with a probable two-day stay in hospital. The Urolift is now becoming more mainline in UK urology.
What does the Urolift procedure involve?
Put simply, the Urolift is like sending tiny little anchors into the prostate, it is like pulling open some curtains. With Urolift, there is no cutting away or destroying any tissue. The side effects are minimal, particularly with regard to the sexual side effects, which we find to be especially important for younger patients. It will not be suitable for everyone or for every type of prostate enlargement, but it has been a big breakthrough for those who are eligible to have the Urolift.
Has patient feedback been positive?
It has been very good, patients are very positive about it. One big advantage from the patients’ point of view is that with Urolift, you don’t need to take the tablets every day that have been necessary after having the traditional operation. We now have some patients who, as part of trials, have had this done five years ago and are still experiencing the benefits.
Are there any negative points of the Urolift?
There are very few. Some people may not be able to have it due to the nature of their condition, but for those who do qualify, there are relatively very few side effects.
What would you say to someone who was concerned about having this treatment?
I would say again that if anyone is worried or suspects they have a prostate problem, go and get checked out. It is much more common that it will be a benign enlargement than cancer, and the treatment for such benign conditions is now a fairly easy thing to undergo. You can be in and out of hospital in a short time with minimal side effects and recovery time, thanks to this new technology.
Why would you recommend patients come to Spire?
If you come to Spire, you can be seen straight away. We don’t have a waiting list for treatment. You’ll be seen by a specialist who will look after every aspect of your care, it is that personal service which we have become known for. And the fact we are at the forefront of new technology, such as being one of the first to introduce Urolift, helps to show the continued investment we make to ensure we are offering the very best to our patients.
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