New technique benefits patients and reduces hospital stay

Tallaght Hospital has become the first public hospital in Ireland to pilot a new, minimally invasive technology to treat Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), commonly known as an enlarged prostate gland.

The procedure results in reduced risk to the patient’s sexual function, quicker recovery time and reduced length of stay.

The condition, which affects one in four men over the age of 40, is part of the natural ageing process but results in an obstruction which causes lower urinary tract symptoms. Patients report a range of complaints including difficulty starting a urine stream; a weak or interrupted urine stream, frequent need to urinate both during the day and at night, or urinary retention.

Patients who require surgery to relieve symptoms have typically undergone procedures which clear obstruction by cutting, heating, vaporising or removing enlarged prostate tissue.

However, the pilot project at Tallaght Hospital, led by Consultant Urology Surgeon Mr. Rustom Manecksha, has seen five patients undergo a new minimally invasive procedure called Prostate Urethral Lift (PUL) using the UroLift® System. It uses implants to retract obstructing lateral lobes of the prostate gland and expand the urethral lumen, clearing the obstruction and relieving symptoms without the need to cut, heat or remove prostate tissue. A key benefit of this approach is that the procedure can be completed under local rather than general anaesthetic, with reduces the typical length of stay required in hospital afterwards.

Commenting on the pilot project, Mr Manecksha said: “While I was completing my Fellowship in Melbourne, I was involved in the initial trial, which was carried out at 19 sites across Australia, the US and Canada. The early indications are that this new technology will benefit both patients and hospitals so I am very proud that Tallaght Hospital is the first public facility in Ireland to pilot the procedure.”

The key benefits of this technology are:

  • Quicker recovery times: Time required for catheterisation is reduced or eradicated
  • Reduced risk to sexual function: Relives lower urinary tract symptoms without the risk to sexual function posed by other surgical options
  • Reduced Length of Stay: The procedure can be done as a day surgery, under a combination of sedation and local anaesthetic
  • Futureproof: The procedure does not interfere with future procedures for the same condition, should the need arise

Dr. Eleanor O’Leary, Perioperative Clinical Director and Consultant Anaesthetist at Tallaght Hospital said: “As a National Centre for Urology, Tallaght Hospital maintains a strong focus on improving its core clinical competencies and providing our patients with access to the latest services and technologies. This is central to our Clinical Services Strategy and we are very proud that Tallaght Hospital has had the expertise to run this pilot project, as it has the potential to radically improve the lives of patients affected by this very common condition.”

All five patients were happy that they could go home on the same day of their procedure and everyone also reported feeling ‘comfortable’ at all times as it was being carried out.