Once again, medical frontiers in Southwest Florida are being expanded at NCH. Dr. Marc Colton, Section Chief of Urology for NCH, recently performed the first ever Aquablation procedure in Collier County, opening up the possibility of treating common prostate issues like BPH without the side effects common with other forms of treatment. No other medical providers closer than Miami or Tampa offer the procedure.
BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia, is one of the most common conditions affecting men as they grow older, according to the National Institutes of Health, with as many as 14 million men experiencing symptoms. Affecting up to 50 percent of men in their 40s, and 80 percent in their 80s, dealing with BPH, it is a serious concern for Southwest Florida’s senior population.
Also known as prostate gland enlargement, BPH causes a range of urological-related symptoms, from frequent and urgent need to urinate, to difficulty starting urination or urinating at all, and inability to completely empty the bladder. While not typically life-threatening, the condition poses serious quality-of-life issues, and can lead to serious complications including urinary tract infections, stones in the bladder and kidney damage.
There are a variety of treatments available for BPH, including medications, medical devices that pull the prostate tissue away from the urethra, which empties urine from the bladder, to surgical options including green light laser, and TURP or trans-urethral resection of the prostate. Before Aquablation, a major downside of surgical treatments for BPH was sexual dysfunction, such as retrograde ejaculation, which interferes with a man’s ability to achieve an orgasm. “Guys hate that,” said Dr. Colton.
Rather than cutting tissue with a knife or a laser beam, Aquablation uses a high-intensity jet of water to remove prostate tissue. “Water can cut through granite,” said Dr. Colton. “It’s like a pressure washer, but this is very precisely controlled.”
Before the surgery, a robotic probe maps out the exact contours of the patient’s prostate gland, each one of which is uniquely sized and shaped. The probe is inserted through the rectum, and the Aquablation tool is inserted trans-urethrally, so the procedure requires no incisions. Total treatment time averages less than 10 minutes.
The Aquablation process transforms what can sometimes be a difficult, grueling operation for the surgeon with potentially negative side effects for the patient, into a routine procedure that offers excellent outcomes and a decreased chance of harming the patient’s sexual function. (Only about 10% of patients develop retrograde ejaculation.)
“You get the safety, efficacy, the same clinical outcomes, but without retrograde ejaculation,” said Dr. Colton.
Thanks to the generosity of Craig and Pat Jilk, NCH is proud to be offering the Aquablation procedure to the Southwest Florida community. At NCH, you can enjoy the most advanced techniques as well as highly skilled surgeons. To take advantage of the benefits of Aquablation, or for more information call the office of Dr. Colton at 239-226-2727, or another NCH Urologist, Dr. Rolando Rivera at 239-465-4157.