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UroLift® FAQs

If you still have questions about UroLift®, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with urologist Dr. Richard Natale in Concord, North Carolina. Call (704) 786-5131 or use our online form at your convenience.

What is the UroLift® System?

The UroLift® System is a minimally invasive procedure for enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It treats lower urinary tract symptoms such as frequent urination, feeling of urgency, difficulty urinating, and weak or slow urinary stream.

How does the UroLift System work?

The UroLift System consists of a delivery device and tiny permanent implants. Approved by the FDA in 2013, UroLift works by directly opening the urethra with tiny implants that hold the enlarged tissue out of the way, like holding a window curtain open. There is no cutting, heating, or ablating of prostate tissue, making the UroLift System the first and only BPH treatment that does not remove prostate tissue and does not negatively impact a man’s sexual function.

Is UroLift right for me?

The UroLift System is a new treatment option for BPH patients who are looking for a minimally invasive alternative to medications or major surgery such as TURP/Laser treatment. The UroLift System is appropriate for men who are concerned about preserving their sexual function and quality of life.

What should I expect during the treatment?

The UroLift System is a minimally invasive treatment that requires little downtime. Dr. Natale will use the UroLift delivery device to place permanent implants that hold back the enlarged prostate tissue and relieve pressure on your urethra. The procedure may be performed under local or general anesthesia, and you may be given medication to feel comfortable during the treatment. 

What happens after treatment?

After the treatment, almost all patients go home the same day without a catheter. There is minimal downtime and many patients experience symptom relief after 2 to 3 weeks, while for others it takes longer. Patients may experience some urinary discomfort 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 that typically resolves within 2-4 weeks after the procedure.1,2,3 Dr. Natale will discuss with you how quickly you can return to your normal physical activities.

Will the UroLift implants affect my sexual function?

Sexual function has been preserved among the hundreds of patients treated in our clinical studies.1,2,3,4,5 This is a unique benefit of the UroLift System treatment compared with other BPH therapies such as TURP, laser, and even medication.

Is the treatment permanent?

Yes, the UroLift is a permanent implant, and the treatment is intended to be permanent. It has been proven durable in at least 4 years of US clinical data,1 and results will continue to be published as follow-ups continue. One unique aspect of the UroLift System is that it does not preclude retreatment or other BPH treatments, should that be needed and desired in the future.

What happens if the implants need to be removed?

The implant is made up of standard surgical implantable materials: a nitinol capsular tab, a stainless steel urethral tab, and polyester suture that holds the two tabs together. Dr. Natale can simply remove the implant, if it becomes necessary. 

Are there any contraindications?

Non-clinical testing has demonstrated that the UroLift® implant is MR Conditional. A patient with this device can be safely scanned immediately after placement as long as the MRI system meets the following conditions:

  • Static magnetic field of 3 Tesla or less
  • Maximum spatial field gradient of 1,500 Gauss/cm (15 T/m) or less
  • Maximum MR system reported, whole-body averaged specific absorption rate (SAR) of 4 W/kg (First Level Controlled Operating Mode)

Under the scan conditions defined above, the UroLift implant is expected to produce a maximum temperature rise of 2.4°C after 15 minutes of continuous scanning.

In non-clinical testing, the image artifact caused by the device extends approximately 15 mm from the UroLift implant when imaged with a gradient echo pulse sequence and a 3 Tesla MRI system.

Patient implant cards are provided to inform the patient that the UroLift implant is MR Conditional and can safely be scanned only under specific MR conditions.

If you have any questions about MRI safety, please consult your doctor.

Will the UroLift implants affect a digital rectal exam (DRE)?

No. The implants are placed on the front side of the prostate, and a DRE is conducted on the back side of the prostate. The implants are not expected to interfere in a DRE.

Is UroLift covered by Medicare and commercial insurance plans?

All Medicare carriers provide benefits for the UroLift System when medically necessary. Some commercial insurance plans may cover the procedure. Our office staff can work with you and your health plan to learn more about your healthcare benefits specific to the UroLift implant procedure.

What clinical data is available for the UroLift System?

Over 950 patient-years of clinical data have 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.

  1. Roehrborn 2016 Urology Clinics 
  2. Roehrborn, Can J Urol 2015, 3-Year L.I.F.T. Study
  3. Roehrborn, Urology Practice 2015, 2-Year L.I.F.T. Study
  4. Roehrborn, J Urol 2013, L.I.F.T. Study
  5. McVary, J Sexual Medicine 2014, Preservation of Sexual Function with the Prostatic Urethral Lift
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