Enlarged prostate is a common problem. Medically known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, the condition affects half of all men between ages 51 and 60, as well as up to 90 percent of men over age 80.

When the prostate gets bigger, it puts pressure on the urethra causing the bladder to weaken. That can leave a man feeling like he frequently needs to urinate, as often as every one to two hours, especially at night.

Treating BPH

Traditional BPH therapies include “watchful waiting,” which is simply monitoring the condition over time, taking medications to treat the symptoms or doing surgery to remove tissue.

“'Patients get better so quickly,' he adds. 'It’s dramatic.'”

Medications such as alpha blockers, which relax prostate and bladder muscles, or 5-alpha reductase inhibitors that block the prostate hormone can have significant side effects, including headaches and dizziness, as well as sexual problems like reduced libido, difficulty ejaculating and erectile dysfunction.

New solutions

Doctors and BPH patients are excited about new treatments like the prostatic urethral lift (PUL), a permanent implant system that treats BPH symptoms while preserving normal sexual function.

“The device opens up the prostate,” explains Dr. Neil Baum, a physician and professor of clinical urology at Tulane Medical School who has performed the PUL on over 50 patients. “It’s analogous to pulling the curtains open. There’s no swelling, and immediate improvement.

“Patients get better so quickly,” he adds. “It’s dramatic.”

“The technology was truly built with the patient experience,” say Dave Amerson, CEO of NeoTract, Inc., a medical device company. “It’s minimally invasive, performed in the office or an outpatient setting, and really has an excellent safety profile.”

Researcher and urologist Dr. Stephen Richardson didn’t want to take medications to treat his BPH. After a PUL treatment however, he’s seen great results. “This is revolutionary in the treatment of BPH,” he says.